Posts Tagged ‘Wendell Berry’

Stuff of Life, Life of Stuff

April 10, 2011

I do not know nearly as much as I wish I knew about Feng Shui, like so many subjects I would love to study more. But I do know that in that science/art there is much to realize about your stuff, where it is, what it is, how it allows energy to flow or be blocked, what it attracts, what it repels – all of this affecting profoundly our health, prosperity, relationships and every other aspect of life. We tend to think of stuff as dead, matter that doesn’t matter. But it’s not. It is matter that matters.

Clearing out some closets in these past three days has been a mythic journey to the underworld and back for me. Yowza! If I have previously been inclined to ignore the life in stuff, I am being cured of that now.

This experience reminds me of a Wendell Berry poem that I have had posted in my office for years. This is a good time to share it – spring time, time for tilling, clearing, planting and making space for new growth.

At the start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
And to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins:  that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise,
have been inattentive to wonders:
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
~Wendell Berry

Hurt Lockers

March 21, 2010

Just as I was awakening today the title of the recent Academy Award’s Best Picture winner “The Hurt Locker” came into my mind. Such a powerful movie. I didn’t catch how it got its name, but the words in the title started turning around in my head –  hurt locker, the lockers where we store our hurts, hurts locked in. When we don’t know how to process our hurts we lock them away; when they are too big for us we lock them away. Hurts get stored. I picture it as a vibrational frequency stored in the cells and the genes, continuing even when we don’t remember the scenes in which the hurt happened. Their frequencies constantly influence perception, thought, emotion, behavior. Evidence and observation demonstrate that they are passed on from generation to generation also.

So today I have mused about how to unlock the locker and do some spring cleaning. Wendell Berry has a poem about opening a trench in the ground each spring where he deposits “useless words, fragments, errors.”  After listing all the things he places there he says:

To the sky, to the wind, then
to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders:
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
Of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.

Maybe some such ritual would be healpful. Wow, I just mistyped helpful, and look at it! I like it. Healpful. Wendell Berry talked about burying useless words and look what already came up – a new one.

However we do it, I hope we will open up our hurt lockers and discard contents that have passed their expiration date. I wish for everyone such a clearing and healing. Time for new, fresh perception, emotion and life.