The World is Made at Rest

 

November 2020—

You may not hear much from me for the rest of the year, as I continue the difficult labor of guiding my 17-year-old hound dog Banjo to his graceful passing. It’s been a long, long journey.

My essay “The Days Are Walking,” about some of my time with Banjo on this earth, came out in the Oxford American’s Summer issue on Place. You can read it here.

I wrote the Last Words for Sierra magazine’s Sep/Oct issue, in a piece called “Lessons in Breathing.” You can read that here.

When you sign up for my Being In Place project, you’ll receive a monthly letter from my place, in which I’ll be considering the intersections of landscape and spirit, and pondering the challenges and beauty of being in our places.

I have been taking the time to go deeper into some meaningful projects, deeper into the work. Deeper, deeper is what I’m feeling, what I’m needing, as the nights get longer and the days shorter and this heavy year comes to a close. These Wendell Berry lines say it best.

The world is made at rest,
In ease of gravity.
I hear the ancient theme
In low world-shaping song
Sung by the falling stream.
Here where a rotting log
Has slowed the flow: a shelf
Of dark soil, level laid
Above the tumbled stone.
Roots fasten it in place.
It will be here a while;
What holds it here decays.
A richness from above,
Brought down, is held, and holds
A little while in flow.
Stem and leaf grow from it.
At cost of death, it has
A life. Thus falling founds,
Unmaking makes the world.

 

— Wendell Berry

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