A thoughtful friend recently sent me the link to Wendell Berry’s 2012 Jefferson Lecture, “It All Turns On Affection“:
For humans to have a responsible relationship to the world, they must imagine their places in it. To have a place, to live and belong in a place, to live from a place without destroying it, we must imagine it. By imagination we see it illuminated by its own unique character and by our love for it. By imagination we recognize with sympathy the fellow members, human and nonhuman, with whom we share our place. By that local experience we see the need to grant a sort of preemptive sympathy to all the fellow members, the neighbors, with whom we share the world. As imagination enables sympathy, sympathy enables affection. And it is in affection that we find the possibility of a neighborly, kind, and conserving economy.
As a companion piece, Mark Bittman’s account of his visit, “Wendell Berry, American Hero,” offers a personal view of “the soul of the real food movement.”
Photograph from walking the Johnson Farm, called Rustlewood, the last dairy farm in Kittery, ME. Together with the Kittery Land Trust, they are working to preserve this 300 acre parcel as agricultural land.