Sunday, March 11, 2012

From a Good Friend......

Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow: NY: Centerpoint, 2000

If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live
your life in a straight line-starting, say, in the Dark Wood
of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and
Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King's
Highway past appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares,
and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City.
But that is not the way I have done it, so far. I am a pilgrim,
but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often
what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circle or
a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any
number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory,
and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many
snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have
seen them only in looking back. Often I have not known where
I was going until I was already there. I have had my share of
desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone
to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have
received better than I have deserved. Often my fairest hopes
have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim crossing
a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have
been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led-make
of that what you will.

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