Tag Archives: The Task at Hand

Sick of politics and politicians? Read this poem!

I have got to the stage in life where I am so sick of politics and politicians that I only vote – I always vote – because I know that women fought and died for me to have that vote.

But it does seem these days that in ‘mature’ democracies such as we have in the UK and the USA, power, influence and money are increasingly concentrated in the hands of those who are not much in touch with the needs of our planet or the will of the people.

Sectarian polarisation seems to be growing worse, and not just in the turmoil and bloodshed of the Middle East: look at the stasis existing in the USA between Republicans and Democrats, and the despair which that impasse is generating amongst ‘ordinary’ voters. In Scotland, of course, we have an increasingly strident shouting match as the 18th September Independence Referendum on Scotland’s future – and that of the whole United Kingdom – draws near.

So – when I came across this wonderful poem by Wendel Berry in a recent post by my favourite blogger, Linda Leinen at The Task at Hand, it spoke to me, loud and clear. I hope it speaks to you, wherever you are:

The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union

From the union of power and money,

From the union of power and secrecy,

From the union of government and science,

From the union of government and art,

From the union of science and money,

From the union of genius and war,

From the union of outer space and inner vacuity,

The Mad Farmer walks quietly away.

There is only one of him, but he goes.

He returns to the small country he calls home,

His own nation small enough to walk across.

He goes shadowy into the local woods,

And brightly into the local meadows and croplands.

He goes to the care of neighbors,

He goes into the care of neighbors.

He goes to the potluck supper, a dish

From each house for the hunger of every house.

He goes into the quiet of early mornings

Of days when he is not going anywhere.

Calling his neighbors together into the sanctity

Of their lives separate and together,

In the one life of the commonwealth and home,

In their own nation small enough for a story

Or song to travel across in an hour, he cries:

Come all ye conservatives and liberals

Who want to conserve the good things and be free,

Come away from the merchants of big answers,

Whose hands are metalled with power;

From the union of anywhere and everywhere;

By the purchase of everything from everybody at the lowest price

And the sale of anything to anybody at the highest price;

From the union of work and debt, work and despair;

From the wage-slavery of the helplessly well-employed.

From the union of self-gratification and self-annihilation,

Secede into the care for one another

And for the good gifts of Heaven and Earth.

Come into the life of the body, the one body

Granted to you in all the history of time.

Come into the body’s economy, its daily work,

And its replenishment at mealtimes and at night.

Come into the body’s thanksgiving, when it knows

And acknowledges itself a living soul.

Come into the dance of the community, joined

In a circle, hand in hand, the dance of the eternal

Love of women and men for one another

And of neighbors and friends for one another.

Always disappearing, always returning,

Calling his neighbors to return, to think again

Of the care of flocks and herds, of gardens

And fields, of woodlots and forests and the uncut groves,

Calling them separately and together, calling and calling,

He goes forever toward the long restful evening

And the croak of the night heron over the river at dark.

~ Wendell Berry

(NOTE: I had to put in a small dash to indicate verse breaks, since my WordPress programme for reasons best known to itself, refused to let me create spaces between verses. Purists, please forgive me!)

700 words copyright Wendell Berry/Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

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Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

It is not Xmas. It is not New Year. It is not Valentine’s Day. It is still cold in the Northern Hemisphere. It is not yet Spring. So I thought I’d introduce a note of  celebration and good cheer this week, by posting Anne Whitaker’s Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010.

 

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

 

 

Thanks first of all to my cyber-pal from Georgia, the prestigious and prolific blogger extraordinaire Jude Cowell, for including ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’ in her list of Kreativ Blogger Awards for 2010. A list of all Jude’s blogs encompassing art, astrology and fearlessly outspoken politics, as well as her selection of January 2010 KB Awards, can be found here:

 

Krehttp://www.starsoverwashington.com/2010/01/kreativ-blogger-award-for-stars-over.html

Now here are the 6 rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award which you will need to follow if you are chosen:

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1. Copy/paste the Kreativ Blogger Award picture onto your blog
2. Thank the person who awarded it to you and post a link to her/his blog
3. Write 7 things about yourself we do not know
4. Choose 7 other bloggers to award
5. Link to them
6. Notify your 7 bloggers of their award

*****

7 things about me you ( unless you are one of my family/friends/former astrology students in which case you have probably heard it all before TOO many times!) do not know:

1. I have far too many planets in Leo.

2. Just as well they’re in the Twelfth House!

3. I was actually born in the 12th House – 12, Plantation Road – on the street in which my parents were living at that time

4. My birth was so premature and I was so tiny that I was anointed in olive oil, wrapped carefully and placed in a drawer – too small for a cot – and not expected to live. Wrong!!!

5. I have my Honourable Discharge Papers from the British Merchant Navy

6. At a time when I was utterly dismissive of astrology, an astrologer I met by accident in a launderette drew up my chart and predicted that I would become an astrologer in my early thirties. Right!!!

7. I am still asking the same question I started asking when I first opened my eyes to the world: “Why are we here?”(answers, under a plain wrapper, to this site. Reward for most original response)

That’s enough of that! Here are my Kreativ Blogger Award recipients, in alphabetical order. As Jude Cowell has pointed out, there are a considerable number of  high quality blogs on the Web, and I am acutely aware of only knowing a small selection well enough to nominate them. A large part of the purpose of this award is to encourage our community to spread the net by our own nominations, enabling other great bloggers to have their work picked out and highlighted.

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

Kreativ Blogger Awards 2010

 

1. Dawn Bodrogi – runs a new blog in town, less than a year old. But it is full of thoughtful, quality writing from an accomplished astrologer and teacher. Check Dawn out at The Inner Wheel – Living with Astrology

2. Jude Cowell – a generous spirit, sharp and funny – already mentioned and linked! Find Jude, in true Mercurial style, in several places, including Jude’s Threshold

3. Donna Cunningham – will already be known to many of you as a world class astrologer, writer and teacher – and is now a brilliant blogger at her  SkyWriter blog. Check out her online writing seminars at Moon Maven Publications, along with her books in e-book form or hard copy. I hope to be featuring Donna’s writing on my Guest slot next month.

4. Lauren Lesko is the most sensitive and lyrical writer on astrological topics that I have had the pleasure to come across and to befriend – and a most generous soul. Check out her writing, and the beautiful art which accompanies it, at  ASTROLOGY: the art of awareness

5. Joyce Mason felt like a fellow spirit from the start, and I love her writing – fresh, deep and often very, very funny.  Her Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer is a must for all astrology students, and a great reference tool for practising astrologers, informed as it is by Joyce’s lengthy research and reflection on the Chiron archetype. She has several quality blogs, the main one being The Radical Virgo

6. Susannah combines deep, sensitive and insightful articles with art and poetry. In her own words: “I explore astrology with my poems, images and observations. I hope that maybe you can identify with some of it!” Check out her work – and her selection of blogs! – at  The Lion and the Lightning Bolt

7. Leah Whitehorse is a multi-talented musician and writer, with special interest in working with tarot and with dreams as well as astrology. I am hoping to have a piece from her on working with dreams on my Guest slot this Spring. Visit her at  Lua Astrology – Navigation by the Stars

I’m flouting the rules ( Mars/Uranus in the Tenth House – I like rule-breaking!) with an extra nominaton – one non-astrologer:

Linda Leinem is a writer whose work I discovered very early on in my own blogging career. I was absolutely knocked out by the quality of her writing; here, to give something of the flavour both of Linda’s rich inner and outer life, and her writing themes, is a little clip from the About Me page on her blog:

“Sharing stories, trading secrets, weaving new realities of threads pulled from discarded memories or long forgotten dreams – those are the tasks of a new writer, dedicated to new endeavors.

Living a quiet and hidden life, anchored to my dock like a barnacle to a piling, I varnish boats on the Texas Gulf Coast.  My dock provides both things Virginia Woolf recommended for a woman who writes: money, from the labor, and a room of my own – space and solitude for thought, remembrance, and creative reflection on the truths and mysteries of life.”

I never fail to find affirmation and inspiration in her wonderful writing – her blog gathers many comments, and when you visit  The Task at Hand you will understand why….

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1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page