Jayber Crow Quotes

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Jayber Crow Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
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Jayber Crow Quotes (showing 1-30 of 97)
“I don't believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out - perhaps a little at a time.'
And how long is that going to take?'
I don't know. As long as you live, perhaps.'
That could be a long time.'
I will tell you a further mystery,' he said. 'It may take longer.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“Young lovers see a vision of the world redeemed by love. That is the truest thing they ever see, for without it life is death.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“I have always loved a window, especially an open one.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“I could die in peace, I think, if the world was beautiful. To know it's being ruined is hard.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“Some nights in the midst of this loneliness I swung among the scattered stars at the end of the thin thread of faith alone.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“We walked always in beauty, it seemed to me. We walked and looked about, or stood and looked. Sometimes, less often, we would sit down. We did not often speak. The place spoke for us and was a kind of speech. We spoke to each other in the things we saw.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“After a while, though the grief did not go away from us, it grew quiet. What had seemed a storm wailing through the entire darkness seemed to come in at last and lie down.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“If you could do it, I suppose, it would be a good idea to live your life in a straight line - starting, say, in the Dark Wood of Error, and proceeding by logical steps through Hell and Purgatory and into Heaven. Or you could take the King's Highway past the appropriately named dangers, toils, and snares, and finally cross the River of Death and enter the Celestial City. But that is not the way I have done it, so far. I am a pilgrim, but my pilgrimage has been wandering and unmarked. Often what has looked like a straight line to me has been a circling or a doubling back. I have been in the Dark Wood of Error any number of times. I have known something of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but not always in that order. The names of many snares and dangers have been made known to me, but I have seen them only in looking back. Often I have not known where I was going until I was already there. I have had my share of desires and goals, but my life has come to me or I have gone to it mainly by way of mistakes and surprises. Often I have received better than I deserved. Often my fairest hopes have rested on bad mistakes. I am an ignorant pilgrim, crossing a dark valley. And yet for a long time, looking back, I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I have been led - make of that what you will.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“If the devil doesn't exist... how do you explain that some people are a lot worse than they're smart enough to be?”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time...of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here...It is in the world, but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“Perhaps all the good that ever has come here has come because people prayed it into the world.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work.
This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don't slow down for - or maybe even see - an old man in a rowboat raising his lines...
I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people's freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“Some of the best things I have ever thought of I have thought of during bad sermons.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“There are moments when the heart is generous, and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here, one with one another and with the place and all the living things.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“The mercy of the world is you don't know what's going to happen.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“What can't be helped must be endured.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“My vision of the gathered church that had come to me... had been replaced by a vision of the gathered community. What I saw now was the community imperfect and irresolute but held together by the frayed and always fraying, incomplete and yet ever-holding bonds of the various sorts of affection. There had maybe never been anybody who had not been loved by somebody, who had been loved by somebody else, and so on and on... It was a community always disappointed in itself, disappointing its members, always trying to contain its divisions and gentle its meanness, always failing and yet always preserving a sort of will toward goodwill. I knew that, in the midst of all the ignorance and error, this was a membership; it was the membership of Port William and of no other place on earth. My vision gathered the community as it never has been and never will be gathered in this world of time, for the community must always be marred by members who are indifferent to it or against it, who are nonetheless its members and maybe nonetheless essential to it. And yet I saw them all as somehow perfected, beyond time, by one another's love, compassion, and forgiveness, as it is said we may be perfected by grace.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“You don't need to be told some things. You can sometimes tell more by a man's silence and the set of his head than by what he says.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“He never complained. He seemed to have no instinct for the making much of oneself that complaining requires.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“I thought, He must forebear to reveal His power and glory by presenting Himself as Himself, and must be present only in the ordinary miracle of the existence of His creatures. Those who wish to see Him must see Him in the poor, the hungry, the hurt, the wordless creatures, the groaning and travailing beautiful world.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“The music, while it lasted, brought a new world into being.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“And I knew that the Spirit that had gone forth to shape the world and make it live was still alive in it. I just had no doubt. I could see that I lived in the created world, and it was still being created. I would be part of it forever. There was no escape. The Spirit that made it was in it, shaping it and reshaping it, sometimes lying at rest, sometimes standing up and shaking itself, like a muddy horse, and letting the pieces fly.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“History overflows time. Love overflows the allowance of the world. All the vessels overflow, and no end or limit stays put. Every shakable thing has got to be shaken. In a sense, nothing that was ever lost in Port William ever has been replaced. In another sense, nothing is ever lost, and we are compacted together forever, even by our failures, our regrets, and our longings.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time. It does not accept that limit. Of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here. It is not explainable or even justifiable. It is itself the justifier. We do not make it. If it did not happen to us, we could not imagine it. It includes the world and time as a pregnant woman includes her child whose wrongs she will suffer and forgive. It is in the world but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“New grief, when it came, you could feel filling the air. It took up all the room there was. The place itself, the whole place, became a reminder of the absence of the hurt or the dead or the missing one. I don't believe that grief passes away. It has its time and place forever. More time is added to it; it becomes a story within a story. But grief and griever alike endure.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“Sometimes I knew in all my mind and heart why I had done what I had done, and I welcomed the sacrifice. But there were times too when I lived in a desert and felt no joy and saw no hope and could not remember my old feelings. Then I lived by faith alone, faith without hope.
What good did I get from it? I got to have love in my heart.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“To love anything good, at any cost, is a bargain.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
“The river and the garden have been the foundations of my economy here. Of the two I have liked the river best. It is wonderful to have the duty of being on the river the first and last thing every day. I have loved it even in the rain. Sometimes I have loved it most in the rain.”
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

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