Darcy rolled the quill between his fingers and looked with benign pity upon his cousin. You should, you know. It’s a wonderful feeling to be the head of your home, with a wife who adores you and whom you adore in return.Fitzwilliam whipped out his pocket watch. Oh, look at that. I have to run.Ignoring him, Darcy turned his face to the fire, a besotted look in his eyes and a smile on his lips. It’s a good feeling to care for your family and their well-being. It makes you finally grow up, I can tell you. He sighed deeply and began attacking his figures once more, his mind filled with unlimited love and joy, thinking on his upcoming paternal responsibilities. I myself find women to be unbelievably wonderful creations.I suppose you will continue with this treacle even as I beg you to stop.Well, think about it… Darcy continued, looking up from his work.Fitzwilliam groaned.They give back to you double and triple whatever little you hand them.I think I’m going to be ill, Darcy. Please stop.You hand them disparate items of food and they give you back a wonderful meal. You provide them with four walls and a floor and they give you back a loving home. You give them your seed, Darcy’s eyes misted, his voice choked with emotion. You give them your seed and they give you back the most precious thing of all—a child… They sat in silence together.And God help you if you give them shit. Fitzwilliam was calmly packing tobacco into his pipe and his eyes met Darcy’s for a moment. Understanding flashed between them.Amen to that, Cousin. Darcy crashed down to earth, quickly resuming his work
Karen V. Wasylowski
We are all of us exposed to grief: the people we love die, as we shall ourselves in due course; expectations are disappointed and ambitions are thwarted by circumstance. Finally, there are some who insist upon feeling guilty over the ill they have done or simply on account of the ugliness which they perceive in their own souls. A solution of a kind has been found to this problem in the form of sedatives and anti-depressant drugs, so that many human experiences which used to be accepted as an integral part of human life are now defined and dealt with as medical problems. The widow who grieves for a beloved husband becomes a 'case', as does the man saddened by the recollection of the napalm or high explosives he has dropped on civilian populations. One had thought that guilt was a way, however indirect, in which we might perceive the nature of reality and the laws which govern our human experience; but it is now an illness that can be cured.Death however, remains incurable. Though we might be embarrassed by Victorian death-bed scenes or the practices of mourning among people less sophisticated than ourselves, the fact of death tells us so much about the realities of our condition that to ignore it or try to forget it is to be unaware of the most important thing we need to know about our situation as living creatures. Equally, to witness and participate in the dying of our fellow men and women is to learn what we are and, if we have any wisdom at all, to draw conclusions which must in their way affect our every thought and our every act.
Charles Le Gai Eaton
No settled family or community has ever called its home place an environment. None has ever called its feeling for its home place biocentric or anthropocentric. None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as ecological, deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament and we can hardly escape the need to speak of ecology and ecosystems. But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures and people.And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is work. We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is good work, for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth.The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is bad work – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.
Wendell Berry