I have been led


This year our Book Club (we call ourselves the Erudites) is celebrating 30 years of good reading and friendship.  As part of that, we are each submitting quotes from a favorite book.  Below are 3 selections from Wendell Berry’s book, Jaber Crow.  I love that book and have read it 3 times and will most likely read it again when I am able.  I love how Wendell Berry writes and I love what he shares.  Reading his books are like coming home.

Here are some favorite thoughts:

“Nearly everything that has happened to me has happened by surprise. All the important things have happened by surprise. And whatever has been happening usually has already happened before I have had time to expect it. The world doesn’t stop because you are in love or in mourning or in need of time to think. And so when I thought I was in my story or in charge of it, I really have been only on the edge of it, carried along. Is this because we are in an eternal story that is happening partly in time?”

“I can remember those early years when it seemed to me I was cut completely adrift, and times when, looking back at earlier times, it seems I had been wondering in the dark woods of error. But now it looks to me as though I was following the path that was laid out for me, unbroken, and maybe even as straight as possible, from one end to the other, and I have this feeling, which never leaves me anymore, that I have been led.”

“I have come to the age now where I can see how short a time we have to be here. And when I think about it, it can seem strange beyond telling that this particular bunch of us should be here on this little patch of ground in this little patch of time, and I can think of other times and places I might have lived, other kinds of man I might have been. But there is something else. There are moments when the heart is generous, and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here, with one another and with the place and all the living things.”

In case you ever read this fine book, you’ll enjoy the words found on these pages:


Ann’s Favorite Selections from Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Telling a story, p. 29
Read all good books, p. 47
Pious atmosphere–could not breathe a full breath of air in it, p. 48
“Thy will be done,” –your will and God’s will not be the same, p. 51
Prayer, pp. 51-52
Return to origins, p. 73
Flood of 1937, Bridge, Waters, Origins (a new life), pp. 74-79
Rememberers, p. 126-127, 131-132
Those killed at war remembered at home, p. 141
Grave digging, ch. 15, p. 156, open hearted, p. 158
Bad sermons, Windows, Hymns, p. 162
Church vision, p. 164-165
Choices (Mattie) p. 177
Troy–want more than need, have more than use, p. 179
not much room between what is said and thought
competitive, self-centered cut him off from the shared life, p. 194
ch. 30, point of reference, fulcrum
Tractor, dependence on credit, p. 183, 271, 278
Marriage, p. 193-194
Cecilia, ch. 19, her stinger was always out, p. 208-209
Anger, contempt leap from one heart to another like fire in dry grass
Athey, a story-teller, p. 216
The Devil, p. 224, 231
Jayber’s vow (Mattie), ch. 23
A Religious turn, pp. 250-259
Leftovers, p. 268
Economy, pp. 274, 276
My Dad (Art Laemmlen), pp. 277-278
School closed, p. 279
Digging, filling a grave, p. 280
Interstate, p. 281
Jayber to Troy, p. 287
Jimmy Vietnam, p. 293
God/war, Good/evil, p. 295
The Move, New start at age 54, p. 298
“Tight,” pp. 312-313
Neighbors, p. 317, 319
Ownership, pp.319, 321
In our own stories, Boat in a fog, pp. 322-323
I have books to read, p. 323
The River, p. 325
Reflections (Spirit World??), p. 327
A Thread of Faith, machines, trucks, rumors of wars, p. 330
Emergency to relax, pp. 331-332
Death, Time, p. 333
Debt, pp. 335-336. 339, 360
Mattie, p. 341-343
Heaven, p. 351
Memories, p. 353
Hell, pp. 354-355
A Man of Faith, pp. 356-357
Forgiveness, pp. 360-361
The Spider’s web, p. 362

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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