Poetry Sundays: Wendell Berry
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
I love this poem because of its applicability to many facets of my life as I think of the different kinds of work I engage in.
I am comforted by these words when I feel like I’ve hit a patch of stagnation with my spiritual development. When I’m not sure where I should focus my energies, it helps me to imaging that I’m about to embark on a new, fulfilling and creative path and that sometimes, it’s ok to not know where that path may lead.
Lately, though, this poem speaks to me as I’ve reached a crossroads as a mother. I have had the luxury to be able to choose to stay home with my children. I felt it was important to be at home while they were small, but now that they are a little older, I have felt that it is perhaps better for me and my family if I found employment outside our home. I believe that stay-at-home parenting is real work, engaging, beautiful (at times), and important for those who have the freedom to choose it. But, in the past couple years, I realized that my impeded stream has become more of a stagnant pool.
In searching for new kinds of real work, I understand Berry’s statement, “The mind that is not baffled is not employed.” I feel that in so many areas of my life as I juggle these new roles, and I hope that this search will help my stream to once again sing.
What real work have you found or are searching for?