Dear Members and Friends of Living Table UCC,
This Sunday, July 3, is the last in our worship series, Living Into Pentecost. We have practiced Showing Up, Sinking In, and Shape-Shifting. Do join us on Zoom or in person for this week’s practice of Shining Out . . . Below is Wendell Berry’s poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.” Read it aloud a few times. ‘Chew on’ the phrases that inspire you. Then set out to practice resurrection!
. . . 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 humans [man]
have not encountered we have not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. 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 . . .
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in their 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.
“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1973.
Also published by Counterpoint Press in The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1999;
The Mad Farmer Poems, 2008; New Collected Poems, 2012.