Monthly Archives: August 2016


Do not be Ashamed

From 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 that 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 for

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 ┬ásure horizon will come around you. The heron will begin

his evening flight from the hilltop.