“The agri-industrialists have what they think is a rhetorical question addressed to my side: “If you farm by your principles, who’s going to decide who’s going to starve?” We could put that question back to them: “Who’s going to decide who is going to starve when you get done polluting and eroding the arable land, and destroying all the world’s cultures of land husbandry?”—Wendell Berry, interviewed for Dissent Magazine
when the law firm i work at moved to another building, another file clerk and i threw away an entire law library of beautiful, old books. i’ve never felt more fascist; we must have filled up two of those dumpsters.
“Concerning trees and leaves… there’s a real power here. It is amazing that trees can turn gravel and bitter salts into these soft-lipped lobes, as if I were to bite down on a granite slab and start to swell, bud and flower. Every year a given tree creates absolutely from scratch ninety-nine percent of its living parts. Water lifting up tree trunks can climb one hundred and fifty feet an hour; in full summer a tree can, and does, heave a ton of water every day. A big elm in a single season might make as many as six million leaves, wholly intricate, without budging an inch; I couldn’t make one. A tree stands there, accumulating deadwood, mute and rigid as an obelisk, but secretly it seethes, it splits, sucks and stretches; it heaves up tons and hurls them out in a green, fringed fling. No person taps this free power; the dynamo in the tulip tree pumps out even more tulip tree, and it runs on rain and air.”—Annie Dillard, Pilgirm at Tinker Creek