Home > Uncategorized > Wendell Berry 6/8/10

Wendell Berry 6/8/10

This has been a tumultuous time in my life.  In the last year, I lost my dad and my sister.  I have left a job I loved and a place I loved, Wilmot, NH. I have moved to Anchorage Alaska to accept a new job as an administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration. My wife Debra Reis and I are temporarily living apart as we navigate this transition. There are many loose ends.

With so many changes, i wanted to write something that expressed my love for my wife. I have long held onto and admired the below poem by Wendell Berry.  it is a poem that I have carried with me for a long time. It says things better than I can.

Ripening     by Wendell Berry

The longer we are together
the larger death grows around us.
How many we know by now
who are dead!  We, who were young,
now count the cost of having been.
And yet as we know the dead
we grow familiar with the world.
We, who were young and loved each other
ignorantly, now come to know
each other in love, married
by what we have done, as much
as by what we intend.  Our hair
turns white with our ripening
as though to fly away in some
coming wind, bearing the seed
of what we know. It was bitter to learn
that we come to death as we come
to love, bitter to face
the just and solving welcome
that death prepares. But that is bitter
only to the ignorant, who pray
it will not happen. Having come
the bitter way to better prayer, we have
the sweetness of ripening. How sweet
to know you by the signs of this world!

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