Friday, February 27, 2009

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" from The Country of Marriage, copyright © 1973 by Wendell Berry

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Officially I am not a "blogger". Mainly because I cannot on a consistent basis make the time to come up with anecdotal phraseologies, and snide commentary on current events. if I could do that I would be a blog person, and I might actually feel worthy of having a blog/xanga/facebook notes/etc. or wherever you might be RSS reading this from... if I will indulge myself with the thought that someone out there cares enough to subscribe to my feed, besides my mom, who doesn't even know what an RSS feed is and would have to ask me to do it for her.
I am not a blog person. I like reading them, and when I can I enjoy writing down little things to keep mine alive. It is like forgetting to water a house plant until the last minute, all the time. After a while that poor plant is used to living at the edge of dehydration. It becomes a guilty weight around your neck, and you begin to think about the plant until you water it too much and the plant refuses to drink, and it goes all over the floor. It's happened, I know.

In this time since my last post I found the most meaningful way I could express my experiences was a blog. Not this one, another one. There are some seriously beautiful posts about life, and finding God's purpose, and compassion, all from the perspective of three guys who took a journey to Nepal. I am not saying my posts are seriously beautiful, but they are some of the most heartfelt things I have written, and Caleb and Patrick are exceptional writers.

I am mentioning this in case you haven't visited yet. Perhaps it will challenge and inspire you, as it challenged and inspired us. It certainly still is an experience I am learning from. Even after being home for several weeks and dealing with life day in and day out. For me it has been a difficult month. One of decisions, and illness and micro journeys that I am learning to cope with. In all of it, I am glad for the place of growth God has put me in. I am attending a class every week that is deepening my faith in some incredible ways. It is called "Perspectives", and the name is just the beginning of what the course is about.
It is a blessing to me to have an in depth study to build on the foundations of what I have already been learning in my travels and my walk with God. Perspectives is making me think, and question, and seek answers. I am glad I finally let my missions inclined friends talk me into it.

The name implies more than one perspective. Understanding God's purpose requires us to do more than find the answers we are most comfortable with from our own view, we must engage with other people, and learn to see through their eyes. We must ultimately be willing to see through God's perfect eyes, and to respond to him. I am learning this in baby steps right now.

So you are required by reading this to begin to examine your own heart towards missions. I am curious what you will find.