Birthday of poet/novelist/farmer/environmentalist Wendell Berry (1934), whose poem about a man who diligently archives his vacation but still misses it could be an allegory of life in our socially mediated, digitally translated time. WA
…preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
Aren’t we rarely “in it” these days, many of us, though constantly online, in touch, in REC mode? Framing, documenting, liking, sharing, but not fully experiencing the moments of our lives?
Or is that just Chicken Little the Luddite squeaking?
Either way, Wendell Berry is an admirable defender of authentic existence and living at first hand, in touch with the earth that sustains us. Like his friend Gary Snyder he reminds us that nature isn’t just something external to our lives but is life itself. We need to be there for it. In it.
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