Friday, March 25, 2016

Whitefoot

Notes on Wendel Berry's ​ Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World.

She is a creature who knows her place and how to live.  She goes about the unfinished task of staying alive (p. 60), taking - hour by hour - the opportunity to live (p. 56).  To that end, she does her work in the only world she knows, the only world she has to live in: her acre.

But our little lives are still lived in a wide world and there are storms in this world.  And these storms can move us and change our circumstances.  They can lead us into strange places; challenging places.

How does she take these storms?  By simply staying alive where she is.
She went on a trip - unwillingly via the storm - into the wide world - far from her familiar acre - and at certain points on the way, she was actually quite unaware of what all was going on in world.  For she ate and slept, which was her nature as she continued to live in the littleness of the world immediately around her.

A bit of a summary:
The story is an example of how the storms of life can bring all manner of change, but there will be some things that do not change and our own world is still for us the center.  Our center is our focus and it is enough for us to deal with ("enough" is a key principle).  We can let a lot of stuff go by, because it is beyond us anyway.  We are doing what we need to do in our own acre of the wide world.  And when we go to sleep at night, we do so like Whitefoot: "Her sleep was an act of faith and a giving of thanks."

​I Thessalonians 4:
1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.​

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