Lulu Miller at The Paris Review:
Out of boredom, you tug a little on the navy wool of Wendell Berry’s sweater, undoing the cocoon in which you realize your thumb has begun to hope to turn into something new. He shudders a little at the ripple of cold air against his abdomen. Your thumb is saying: No, let us not go any further. Let us not do what we are programmed to do, how society and evolution have wired us to reap our worth. Let us instead stay here forever, above the waistband. Let us incubate in the warmth of Wendell Berry’s agricultural exertion. Let us listen to the roiling music of digestion. Let us crane to hear the music of the dirt—over half of Earth’s biodiversity clanging and gnawing and joining filaments beneath our feet, showing us another way to flourish, prospering by mending. Let us forget, temporarily, about the world beyond this farm, where roads are wet with oil slicks, clouds are pricked with jets, and flesh too easily torn open by lead traveling faster than the speed of sound. Let us believe we can go back to a time when man did not yet know about the stockpile of sunshine waiting beneath the soil—sunshine stolen by plants and condensed by time into a black reduction that can equip our every last fear. Let us believe the way back is through restraint: treading water by fingering dirt.