The Wisdom of Wendell Berry

A friend’s men­tion of Wen­dell Berry as his favorite poet the other day sent me look­ing for him online.  I came across this quote which cheers me up as I seek what form my new retire­ment will take. It lets me lean back and enjoy the form­less­ness of these first few days.

There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspi­ra­tion, who gives us inar­tic­u­late visions and desires, and the Muse of Real­iza­tion, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more dif­fi­cult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruc­tion, to baf­fle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real jour­ney. The mind that is not baf­fled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

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