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May 30, 2008

In a recent conversation with a friend, we both remarked that the Kentucky author Wendell Berry leads a farm life in which he must strive to keep things simple. He doesn't own a computer and basically shuns most modern conveniences except those that he just can't do without. Yesterday, while reading his essay 'Imagination in Place', I find that he gives this quote:

'When I am called, as to my astonishment I sometimes am, a devotee of 'simplicity' (since I live supposedly as a 'simple farmer'), I am obliged to reply that I gave up the simple life when I left New York City in 1964 and came here. In New York, I lived as a passive consumer, supplying nearly all my needs by purchase, whereas here I supply many of my needs from this place by my work (and pleasure) and am responsible besides for the care of the place.'

That paragraph has been something particularly interesting to think about.