September 29, 2020

Wendell Berry: …these were Heavenly

River Shore, Deep Summer (Harlan Hubbard)

“…these were Heavenly”
by Wendell Berry

The painter Harlan Hubbard said
that he was painting Heaven when
the places he painted merely were
the Campbell or the Trimble County
banks of the Ohio, or farms
and hills where he had worked or roamed
a house’s gable and roofline
rising from a fold in the hills,
trees bearing snow, two shanty boats
at dawn, immortal light upon
the flowing river in its bends.
And these were Heavenly because
he never saw them clear enough
to satisfy his love, his need
to see them all again, again

from Wendell Berry. Leavings: Poems

Comments

  1. a journey into the

    ‘ Wonder ‘

    https://youtu.be/vbu9poGWOn4

    and Harlan’s ‘revelation’, this:
    “Go confidently into the direction of your dreams,
    live the life you have imagined”
    (Thoreau)

    • “[Anna and Harlan] lived at the crossroads of a vital paradox;
      by having little, they had much;
      by living frugally, they lived abundantly;
      by living ‘apart from the world’ they lived in the world intimately and truly.”

      (this quote is by Wendell Berry, a friend of Harlan Hubbard)

  2. as autumn
    lets loose it changes
    I feel each one

  3. “ And these were Heavenly because
    he never saw them clear enough
    to satisfy his love, his need
    to see them all again, again”

    Reminded me of a line from Pink Floyd:

    “ When I was a child
    I caught a fleeting glimpse
    Out of the corner of my eye
    I turned to look but it was gone
    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The child is grown
    The dream is gone…”

    • That song is dour in its outcome but the idea of glimpsing something bigger and greater is what caught me.

      • that this human ability to ‘glimpse something bigger and greater’ exists among all human persons is proof that in our DNA there is the reason for that ability – we were made this way

  4. Yes. Great comments by both of ya, ChrisS and Christiane!

    And bonus points for the Pink Floyd reference.

  5. Long time Wendell Berry fan here.