Category Archives: Wendell Berry

Strata

When I stand in the road that passes through Port William, I am standing on the strata of my history that go down through the known past into the unknown; the blacktop rests on state gravel, which rests on county gravel, which rests on the creek rock and cinders laid down by the town when it was still mostly beyond the reach of the county; and under the creek rock and cinders is the dirt track of the town’s beginning, the buffalo trace that was the way we came. You work your way down, or not so much down as within, into the interior of the present, until finally you come to that beginning in which all things, the world and the light itself, at a Word welled up into being out of their absence. And, nothing is here that we are beyond the reach of merely because we do not know about it.

— Wendell Berry, ‘Pray Without Ceasing’