Monday, December 29, 2008

Lost Gifts

The caption at the top of my blog is a quote from Wendell Berry: Every day you have less reason not to give yourself away. I placed it there so long ago, that I have forgotten its source.

Now I know why.

Justin gave me a Berry’s A Timbered Choir as a Christmas gift. This is a collection of Berry’s poems from 1979 thru 1997. He calls them his “Sabbath Poems” as most of them were written while he took Sunday morning walks about his Kentucky lands – his weekly walking meditation, observing the world through his poetry. One of his poems from 1993 ponders life’s ebb tide, clearly told from the perspective of someone who has many years behind him, but still knows there is much more ahead:

No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.

The poem ends with the lines at the top of the blog, words of grace and spiritual giving: we have less and less reason not to give ourselves away, to ‘be generous toward each day that comes.’

I relate this with some embarrassment, as I have received this gift once before. Kent Busman gave me a copy of A Timbered Choir as a thank you for working with the Camp Fowler Capital Campaign Committee a couple of years ago. He put an inscription on the inside cover. It was my introduction to the simple power of Berry’s words. I cannot find that book, and it saddens me because it came from someone who personifies the grace of giving one’s self to others.

Sorry, Kent. And thanks, Justin.

No comments: