Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do Not Be Ashamed - Wendell Berry

You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine round about you,
and behind you will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty:
you misread the complex instructions,
you are not a member,
you lost your card or never had one.
And you will know that they have been there all along,
their eyes on your letters and books,
their hands in your pockets,
their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed, that they cannot reach.
Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked,
say to them: "I am not ashamed."
A sure horizon will come around you.
The heron will begin his evening flight from the hilltop.


Anonymous said...

i have not read this before, but love it!

We just introduced our kids to "Cool Hand Luke". All fits together.

: )

deb meyers

Heidi Renee said...

I will have to rewatch that one Deb - all I remember (from about 20 years ago) is him eating all of those hard boiled eggs :) I'm sure that's not what you're talking about.

I <3 Wendell Berry so much. This just hit me where I have been living today.

Kel said...

some heavy but powerful stuff here

Daisy said...

Very cool indeedy, Heidi.

Yes, I also remember that hard-boiled egg scene. I also remember liking the movie though I can't really remember much about it. Now, I want to watch it again...