The Real Work — Wendell Berry

Just back from Bhutan, my mind and heart are full, and my mind is tripping forward to the next work that is flowing towards me. One is a collaborative session on improvisation at Northern Voice in a couple of weeks. This poem speaks both to the last 16 days in Bhutan and the upcoming collaboration. A bit of kismet that it floated in front of me, courtesy of Jerry Michalski. A little Saturday morning gift. I promise a post about Bhutan in the coming week.

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work,


and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have come to our real journey.


The mind that is not baffled is not employed.


The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ Wendell Berry ~


(Collected Poems)

via The Real Work — Wendell Berry.

2 thoughts on “The Real Work — Wendell Berry”

  1. Started me thinking… We can picture ourselves (with longing) at rest (seated on a warm chunk of granite) beside a sun-dappled lake in the mountains. But sun-dappled water inherently means movement. And insects flit across the surface, bees drone in the background, a squirrel chatters, a bird sings… A mosquito bites (-:

    Or again, at rest on a sunny beach… Still the waves keep rolling in (albeit with some regularity), sand crabs scurry, gulls swoop. We step into the water and, snorkeling, the underwater view is full of colorful life, movement and wonder.

    Or beside a stream impeded by the rocks, boulders, or geography you describe… Movement/change is here but more obvious – the energy, the sound, the smell and feel that comes with the onward rush of water mixing with air around rock.

    At this moment I’m beside the stream…

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