This was our membership. Burley called it that. He loved to call it that. […] The work was freely given in exchange for work freely given. There was no bookkeeping, no accounting, no settling up. What you owed was considered paid when you had done what needed doing. Every account was paid in full by the understanding that when we were needed we would go, and when we had need the others, or enough of them, would come. In the long, anxious work of the tobacco harvest none of us considered that we were finished until everybody was finished.
The membership includes the dead. […]
What will be remembered, Andy Catlett, when we are gone? What will finally become of this lineage of people who have been members one of another? I don’t know. And yet their names and their faces, what they did and said, are not gone, are not “the past,” but still are present to me, and I give thanks.
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
When we are members of one another, remembering involves re-membering.
When one of us is cut down, it’s as if we have been dis-membered.
Literally, Be mindful again.
Lord, make me ever mindful of Your presence.
Brilliant, thanks Carol.
I feel myself headed into another season of losing those dear to me, and this post was very helpful. Thank you.
Beautiful, Carol. Absolutely brilliant juxtaposition of the anniversary of 9/11 and Wendell Berry’s concept of member-ship. You didn’t even mention 9/11 and I didn’t get the connection until I looked at the date of the post. Thanks for making me think! This was the best 9/11 memorial I’ve read.Blessings,Sandy