Let go when you can

December 28, 2011

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens—that letting go — you let go because you can. The world will always be therewhile you sleep it will be therewhen you wake it will be there as well. So you can sleep and there is reason to wake.

– from Tar Baby (1981), a novel by Toni Morisson, recipient of both the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes in fiction

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The Peace of Wild Things

December 27, 2011

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 into 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.

— poem “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry, American man of letters