Dave Gullett

Wendell Berry on Marriage

“The meaning of marriage begins in the giving of words. We cannot join ourselves to one another without giving our word. And this must be an unconditional giving, for in joining ourselves to one another we join ourselves to the unknown. We can join one another only by joining the unknown. We must not be misled by the procedures of experimental thought: in life, in the world, we are never given two known results to choose between, but only one result that we choose without knowing what it is.”

“Because the condition of marriage is worldly and its meaning communal, no one party to it can be solely in charge. What you alone think it ought to be, it is not going to be. Where you alone think you want it to go, it is not going to go. It is going where the two of you — and marriage, time, life, history, and the world — will take it. You do not know the road; you have committed your life to a way.”

Form, Faith, and Freedom: Wendell Berry on What Poetry Teaches Us about the Secret to a Happy Marriage


The newish currently reading book cover feature on Kindle is probably making me happier than it should. (Yes, I know paper books have had this feature since they were upgraded from scrolls.)

Think Little by Wendell Berry just arrived from Foggy Pine Books. 📚

If you are an American Christian and fail to condemn the fundamental evil of White Nationalism seen in the sedition and insurrection that happened at the Capital today, you are in every way as complicit as the German Church was in enabling the Nazis to commit genicide and war.

More purgatory.


After one day’s use, I’m really loving the iPhone 12 mini. It’s a nice balance between old and new.

@Patrickrhone it might be worth considering if your supply of SE’s happens to run out.

Relax and review.

“We all participate in the economy of extraction when we practice the belief that our Earth has no dignity, no life, or inherent value apart from what we get out of it for utility and for short-term profit.”

[Your Tired Body. Our Exploited Earth. They’re Connected.]

Finally finished reading: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow 📚

“In a society that is growing radically more secular every day, I’d say we have more to fear from political dogmatism than religious dogmatism. We have more to fear from those who let their politics determine their faith practices and who turn their religious communities into political armies. We have more to fear from people who look to politics as a substitute for faith.”

-David Brooks

Opinion | How Faith Shapes My Politics


Via @ayjay

Weekend reading.

On Road Trips

From Huckberry:

“I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but I do want to tell you that empty Leinenkugel’s cases make an excellent storage system in the back of any car you’re partial to. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with Leinenkugel’s, the terrifically average beer from Chippewa Falls, the local beer I grew up on at my cabin. You no doubt have your own beloved local beer, if they have good cardboard cases then I recommend those too. “These fit exactly next to a small Yeti cooler which is full of a case of Miller Lite, the official beer of Coggins angling trips. Before you protest, I ask you not to think of it as bad beer but to think of it as good water.”

David Coggins: All Hail The Road Trip huckberry.com/journal/p…

The Worst Case

From The Atlantic:

“If we are lucky, this fraught and dysfunctional election cycle will reach a conventional stopping point in time to meet crucial deadlines in December and January. The contest will be decided with sufficient authority that the losing candidate will be forced to yield. Collectively we will have made our choice—a messy one, no doubt, but clear enough to arm the president-elect with a mandate to govern…

A lot of people, including Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee, have mis­conceived the nature of the threat. They frame it as a concern, unthinkable for presidents past, that Trump might refuse to vacate the Oval Office if he loses…

The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress. He could prevent the formation of consensus about whether there is any outcome at all. He could seize on that un­certainty to hold on to power.”


If 2020 has you down, hang on. “It won’t be as long as it has been.”

New Pen.

“Tom Cotton” should be come a euphemism for espousing an idea so abjectedly evil and offensive that no one can believe any right minded person would think it, much less utter it.



It’s that most magical time of the year wherein I dig up the hot toddy recipe @patrickrhone shared years ago.

New mercy comes with every morning The unexpected with no warning For loved ones who’ve gone on before Sing me Auld Lang Syne

New mercy comes with every morning The unexpected with no warning Let the dear ones you love know You’ll miss them when you go.

From “New Year’s Song” by Over the Rhine

From “Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage” by Derek Sivers

Minimizing or Maximizing?

When everyone else is trying to automate everything, using a little human intervention can be a competitive advantage.

The problem is when business owners see it as a cost, instead of an opportunity.Trying to minimize costs, instead of maximize income, quality, loyalty, happiness, connection, and all those other wonderful things that come from real human attention.

You can buy a fancy phone routing system, so people have to listen to 9 options, choose option 5, then listen to 6 more options…

… or …

You can hire a charming person to pick up the phone on the first ring, and make a great impression.

Which one do you think will win you new fans?



from Questionnaire by Wendell Barry

  1. In the name of patriotism and the flag, how much of our beloved land are you willing to desecrate? List in the following spaces the mountains, rivers, towns, farms you could most readily do without.

  2. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes, the energy sources, the kinds of security, for which you would kill a child. Name, please, the children whom you would be willing to kill.”


via kottke.org/19/08/que…