In keeping with our unrestrained consumptiveness, the commonly accepted basis of our economy is the supposed possibility of limitless growth, limitless wants, limitless wealth, limitless natural resources, limitless energy, and limitless debt. The idea of a limitless economy implies and requires a doctrine of general human limitlessness: all are entitled to pursue without limit whatever they conceive as desirable—a license that classifies the most exalted Christian capitalist with the lowliest pornographer.
-Wendell Berry, Harpers Magazine 2008
Life’s spell is so exquisite, everything conspires to break it. -Emily DickinsonIt wasn’t bliss. What was blissbut the ordinary life? She’d spend hoursin patter, moving through whole daystouching, sniffing, tasting . . . exquisitehousekeeping in a charmed world.And yet there was alwaysmore of the same, all that happiness,the aimless Being There.So she wandered for a while, bush to arbor,lingered to look through a pond’s restive mirror.He was off cataloging the universe, probably,pretending he could organizewhat was clearly someone else’s chaos.That’s when she found the tree,the dark, crabbed branchesbearing up such speechless bounty,she knew without being toldthis was forbidden. It wasn’ta question of ownership—who could lay claim tosuch maddening perfection?And there was no voice in her head,no whispered intelligence lurkingin the leaves—just an ache that grewuntil she knew she’d already lost everythingexcept desire, the red heft of itwarming her outstretched palm.-“I’ve been a stranger in a strange land” by Rita Dove