Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!
For this session we read an excerpt from the essay “Damage” by Wendell Berry, posted below.
Our prompt was: “Write about a time you tried to repair something.”
More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!
Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.
Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!
Please join us for our next session Monday January 23rd at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.
"Damage" by Wendell Berry I I have a steep wooded hillside that I wanted to be able to pasture occasionally, but it had no permanent water supply. About halfway to the top of the slope there is a narrow bench, on which I thought I could make a small pond. I hired a man with a bulldozer to dig one. He cleared away the trees and then formed the pond, cutting into the hill on the upper side, piling the loosened dirt in a curving earthwork on the lower. The pond appeared to be a success. Before the bulldozer quit work, water had already begun to seep in. Soon there was enough to support a few head of stock. To heal the exposed ground, I fertilized it and sowed it with grass and clover. We had an extremely wet fall and winter, with the usual freezing and thawing. The ground grew heavy with water, and soft. The earthwork slumped; a large slice of the woods floor on the upper side slipped down into the pond. The trouble was the familiar one: too much power, too little knowledge. The fault was mine. I was careful to get expert advice. But this only exemplifies what I already knew. No expert knows everything about every place, not even everything about any place. If one's knowledge of one's whereabouts is insufficient, if one's judgment is unsound, then expert advice is of little use. II In general, I have used my farm carefully. It could be said, I think, that I have improved it more than I have damaged it. My aim has been to go against its history and to repair the damage of other people. But now a part of its damage is my own. The pond was a modest piece of work, and so the damage is not extensive. In the course of time and nature it will heal. And yet there is damage to my place, and to me. I have carried out, before my own eyes and against my intention, a part of the modern tragedy: I have made a lasting flaw in the face of the earth, for no lasting good. Until that wound in the hillside, my place, is healed, there will be something impaired in my mind. My peace is damaged. I will not be able to forget it. Credit: Wendell Berry, Damage, 4 Hastings West Northwest J. of Envtl. L. & Pol'y 71 (1997)
19 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST January 20th 2023”