Sunday, 14 April 2013

This poem changed my life


Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

- Wendell Berry, Manifesto:The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

The whole poem can be read here. I urge you to drop this blog now and go read it.

Sometimes it is hard to put what you want in to words. My vision for my future certainly does not condense into a neat job description complete with handy flowchart of how to get there. The glimpse has flashed in and out of my life for as long as I can remember - infuriatingly flickering at the edge of my vision in careers interviews at school. 'Oh, you change your mind so much! You will want to be something different next week!'. Indeed.

I came across this poem last year and have read it many many times since then. To all intents and purposes it is my ideal job description - that ragbag of ideas and images that have clashed vividly with just about every advised direction I have ever taken. I wonder if I had discovered Wendell Berry when I was 18, would my life have turned out very different?  This poem articulates how I have always wanted to be in the world, but have never had the courage to fully embrace, in the face of others' well meaning opinion . I want to be a mad farmer.

Going through all my old posts gave me plenty of food for thought. All the posts now tagged 'The map chest' are about where we are going what we are doing - our road map as such. What a confused little pup I was back then. I had the vaguest inkling of what it was I wanted, but it was but a glimpse, washing in and out of sight with the tides of life. Simple living, growing things, making things and an innate need to take care of people and planet - all glimpses, but never fully braided together. 

It is all much clearer now. Time to get braiding.

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