Sorry for the delay….no internet. had to find time to get to the cafe.
But after a LONG delay I’m back in the swing of things.
A Place On Earth
By Wendell Berry
If I could be any author, I mean really, BE any author, I’d wanna be Wendell Berry. I want to write like him, notice detail the way he does, understand a story the way he does., and live and farm in the Kentucky hills with a wife and seven grandkids. I’m not much of a farm girl. But I’d get up at 5am to milk cows if it meant that I could write the human condition the way Wendell Berry does.
This book is part of a group of books in a series about “The Port William Membership.” The books doe not follow a certain sequence, but circles around the same subject: the town of Port William, Kentucky. Wendell Berry has built the story around a few of the town’s principle players, the story. Each one connected to the other in the way that all small towns are connected. These are neighbors, family, and familiar acquaintances who all share a history of place and memories of loved ones who’ve passed.
The story takes place during a time of war (I’m guessing WWII, but it could be earlier, but the book isn’t specific about dates). The town has sent most of its young men off to fight leaving old men, wives, mothers, and kids. Small vignettes take the place of a strong action driven plot. Each characters struggle with grief, love, hope, and a late start on the spring planting, is enough to carry you through the entire 300+ pages.
Each character’s grief or apprehension takes on individual textures and forms. And Wendell’s insight into each character is full rendered here. One of my favorite moments of the book (there are too many to even put here) comes after the town learns that the war is over. Three of the main characters, Jayber, Big Ellis, and Burley proceed to get totally drunk and once the entire town has gone to sleep they decide to burry the town drunk who’s passed out on the street still breathing but effectively dead. The mock funeral turns from farce to poignancy without leaving the ground of reality
Overtaken and sobered by Jayber’s words – Jayber as much as the others – they stand with their heads bowed after he has finished. Apart from anything any of them could have intended or expected, Jayber’s words have transcended drunkenness and farce. The meaning of the time has been lifted far above the snores that come with astonishing power out of the grave. Jayber’s words have returned them to the occasion they started with – the end of the war, the dying, the deaths – the graves of the millions that, beyond knowing, peace has come to.
Wanna know more about Wendell Berry:
Website all about him HERE
Where to find his books: amazon.com