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Weekly Poem: Two Questions

Two Questions

If you provided a marriage feast

and the thankless guests crowded

at the table, gobbling the food

without tasting it, and shoving

one another away, so that some ate

too much and some ate nothing,

would you not be offended?

Or if, seated at your bountiful table,

your guests picked and finicked

over the food, eating only a little,

refusing the wine and the dessert,

claiming that to fill their bellies

and rejoice would impair their souls,

would you not be offended?

by Wendell Berry


Thoughts from a farmer:

We often think of the land as a gift. Of course we don't ALWAYS see it that way, sometimes it feels like a long obligation or a confining place, but that is to be human. What we strive for is to see it as a gift. Because we believe that it is.

But if its a gift, then there is a gift giver. And if there is a gift giver, how do they feel about our use of the gift?

I don't believe in excluding people to preserve nature's perfection, as if our interaction is exclusively negative. And I don't even seek to limit or reduce human contact.

But neither do I promote excessive, selfish, or competitive consumption of the earth either.

I would suggest (as I believe Berry does here) that both extremes are offensive to the gift giver. And neither one is a virtuous or admirable posture to place ourselves in.

How shall we then live?


The Painting I've selected this week is called "The Fight Between Carnival and Lent" by Pieter Bruegel (the Elder). (BTW, which end of the spectrum do YOU tend towards?)

Hopefully I don't need to explain the rational behind my choice. It's a weird one, but take a look:

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