18 July 2014

Distant Neighbors

Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry & Gary Snyder. Wonderful, makes me miss the Age of Letters.

"And I myself am not comfortable with unnecessary exotic Far Eastern baggage in my secular and spiritual life here on Turtle Island. Trappings of the ancient Judeo-Roman world, or Greek Hellenistics, also strike me as exotic. Where to draw a style of our own from? The plain style of plain folks is truly attractive -- and also the free use of found feathers and beads, and the beautification of daily life with the things at hand that the Indians did so well. Oh boy: We sit in my barn doing Japanese Zen meditation, using those alien texts, but in the dialogue with the teacher, nothing is exotic -- it is really the depth of the natural heart. But the work that lies ahead, of creatively making a coherent style that fits our daily life, as well as our inner needs, is a big one; it could be a whole work in itself, even if there wasn't a planet about to crumble around us."

Gary Snyder to Wendell Berry
June 5, 1980