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Creek Running North

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September 22, 2004

The tiny things and the large, the precious 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 in the 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

(via Caitlin.)

Posted by Chris Clarke at September 22, 2004 12:10 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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...this poem is written near the front of every one of my journals. it is the way i manage my sadness about our losses - it is the only way i can imagine to remain supple and green instead of brittle. and to it i always add:

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a
reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the
other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is
not enough to fight for natural land and the west; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still there.
So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizzly, climb the
mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breath deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness,
that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much:
I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound men with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards."
— Edward Abbey

Posted by: Anne at September 22, 2004 08:40 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

This was my grandfather's favorite poem.

I read it at his funeral. Thank you so much for reminding me of it here; while I can no longer hear it without crying, the tears are good.

Posted by: Siona at September 22, 2004 10:40 AM
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Thanks, Chris.

Posted by: beth at September 22, 2004 05:10 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs