So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute: know the land

Map by KLR

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

~Wendell Berry, excerpt from The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

On today’s episode of Health Justice Radio, we consider the ways in which our own health and the health of our community, is linked to the health of the land. We speak with Knowing the Land is Resistance a Hamilton collective dedicated to exploring the remaining Carolinian Forest. Their writing has appeared in MayDay magazine where they ask questions like, “Why is there so little forest left? Who benefits from this? What do healthy natural communities look like in this area? How do disturbed wild spaces heal themselves? How can we, humans raised in this constrictive colonial, capitalist system, participate in that healing?”

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