Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday in CinCity

XI.

by Wendell Berry

Though he was ill and in pain,
in disobedience to the instruction he
would have received if he had asked,
the old man got up from his bed,
dressed, and went to the barn.
The bare branches of winter had emerged
through the last leaf-colors of fall,
the loveliest of all, browns and yellows
delicate and nameless in the gray light
and the sifting rain. He put feed
in the troughs for eighteen ewe lambs,
sent the dog for them, and she
brought them. They came eager
to their feed, and he who felt
their hunger was by their feeding
eased. From no place in the time
of present places, within no boundary
nameable in human thought,
they had gathered once again,
the shepherd, his sheep, and his dog
with all the known and the unknown
round about to the heavens' limit.
Was this his stubbornness or bravado?
No. Only an ordinary act
of profoundest intimacy in a day
that might have been better. Still
the world persisted in its beauty,
he in his gratitude, and for this
he had most earnestly prayed.

please note: photo by Patricia McConnell

14 comments:

  1. May we all be so lucky as to carry on yet for a time, feeding our lambs, in a place where beauty may still persist...

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  2. Lovely. A dear friend lost her daddy today. This is so soothing. Small things give such comfort. Pam

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  3. Oh my. Owen has said it all really.

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  4. OK I have been too busy for blogging and trying to catch up, just read your post about maybe not posting anymore. I know this blog thing is sometimes too time consuming and you already have such a full life. Just wanted you to know you would be missed. Take care, Pam

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  5. Your posts always make a difference in my day.

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  6. This post speaks to me. Those who are born to nurture and shepherd can never stop. It is both destiny and fulfillment.

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  7. And how utterly beautiful your entry today is. Thank you.

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  8. I do so love Wendell Berry. Thank you.

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  9. I could hear Garrison Keillor's voice reading these words to me. Thank you.

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  10. Oh, so lovely. I needed this today - thank you!

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  11. I read this here yesterday and felt so moved by the words. It's beautiful.

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  12. I came to a 3 a.m. realization in recent weeks. I have forgotten how to be grateful. That's a terrible thing to come to terms when you are about to be 50 and have much to be grateful for. But I spent the holiday with my father - who is old and quite sick, but still in possession of a supple mind - and I saw his appreciation of everything and everyone. And even as he witnesses his own body turn against him, he gazes upon his grandchildren - and his grown children, the man who sells the paper on the corner, the grocer, the mail delivery person, the passing stranger - with the curiosity and generous heart of the wise.
    So, in this vein, ("he in his gratitude")thank you for this poem. It resonated with me in a deep way.
    And, thank you for this blog. It is a place I visit quite often to find hidden treasures like this one written by Mr. Berry.

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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)