the joy of transition

As we all trickle back to the Ruka after the holiday, after eating our faces off, sleeping in till 11 daily, reading good books for no other reason than to read good books, and spending time with families and friends, I look forward to this upcoming semester with my roommates. Already Sarah has planned a service afternoon at Caritas and an awesome day of bonding for MLK day. This, my last semester at Rhodes, I plan to live as intentionally as possible. Time passes so ridiculously fast and I fear that I will blink and be fifty, wondering where my life and youth has gone. Living here reminds me of how I want to live and who I want to be, challenging me daily to look more like that person.

We’re just now getting applications for our potential new members. I know all of us are going to have a hard time discerning who should be in our position for next coming school year with the great applicants we have already received. Transitions and change are always hard and I know this will be no exception with out new members AND with all of us girls graduating in May. I have been completely spoiled by these friendships and, though they are at times hard, would not trade them for anything. I hope that the members in future years are spoiled in similar ways.

During the break I spent some time at my brother’s apartment in Princeton and this poem was on the wall. I hope it touches and convicts you as it did me.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise / vacation with pay. Want more / of everything ready-made. Be afraid / to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head. / Not even your future will be a mystery / any more. Your mind will be punched in a card / and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something / they will call you. When they want you / to die for profit / they will let you know. / So, friends, every day do something / that won’t compute. Love the Lord. / Love the world. Work for nothing. / Take all that you have and be poor. / Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace / the flag. Hope to live in that free / republic for which it stands. / Give your approval to all you cannot / understand. Praise ignorance, for what man / has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers. / Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. . Say that your main crop is the forest / that you did not plant, / that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested / when they have rotted into the mold. / Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. / Put your faith in the two inches of humus / that will build under the trees / every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear / close, and hear the faint chattering / of the songs that are to come. / Expect the end of the world. Laugh. / Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful / though you have considered all the facts. / So long as women do not go cheap / for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy / a woman satisfied to bear a child? / Will this disturb the sleep / of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields. / Lie down in the shade. Rest your head / in her lap. Swear allegiance / to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos / can predict the motions of your mind, / lose it. Leave it as a sign / to mark the false trail, the way / you didn’t go.

Be like the fox / who makes more tracks than necessary, / some in the wrong direction. / Practice resurrection.


One thought on “the joy of transition

  1. Just finished the Wendell Berry book Jami got me for Christmas. He’s so good and so right on a number of things. Great poem! Thx for posting it. Keep up the good work. Enjoy every day you have left together.

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