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Black Elk

The Real Work

September 25th, 2012

The Real Work

by Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

 from Standing by Words.

9 Responses to “The Real Work”

  1. This spoke to me today–it was my first communication of the day. I hope these words prove to be true in my life. Thank you, Phillip.

  2. This reminded me of the quote by Fritz Perls: “Lose your mind and come to your senses.”

  3. Wendell Berry is one of those writers like Emerson: I think I know most of what he’s written, but then something like this little gem comes along and makes me fall in love with him all over again. This really speaks to me at this time in my life. Thank you.

  4. Hi Philip, the thoughts in this poem address a really interesting conundrum – some of the best art is produced in times of stress, doubt, loneliness and angst. “The impeded steam is the one that sings” says it all really.

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