Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In Their Own Words - Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

   I most often quote photographers on this blog but watching the Bill Moyer's interview of a man I have admired for years, Wendell Berry, I felt I needed to mention this amazing man.  Recent world events have left me despairing for the state of things.  I too long for the "grace of the world".

    Using photography as a contemplative practice I have, over the years, developed a very special relationship with the natural world.  As I said in yesterday's post, in many ways this relationship is an important way for me to practice my religion.  If that is so, Berry would be one of my many prophets...which is also what Moyers has called him.

   As contemplative photographers we have a unique ability to call attention to Mankind's mistreatment of the natural world. If you believe, as I do, that Nature is divine presence than this mistreatment is even more profound. In the interview,  Berry said that all of Nature is sacred and therefore our exploitation of Nature is a sacrilege. I would have to agree with that sentiment.

   Watch the interview in the link below and perhaps you will be inspired to enter into a new relation with the landscape.   Perhaps you can become one of the advocates for what Berry calls, "the precious things" of the natural world through your photographs.

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