Daily Distraction: Experience 'The Peace of Wild Things' with Wendell Berry

Joel Oliphint

Yesterday I finished listening to the audiobook version of Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, and I'm so sad it's over. Amid daily writing deadlines and political turmoil and the ever-widening spread of a potentially deadly virus, I've been feeding the voice of narrator Michael Paul into my ears and escaping to the tiny town of Port William, Kentucky, as seen through the eyes of barber-philosopher Jayber Crow. It's the opposite of Twitter, of Trump, of the always-open, always-beckoning CMS. 

So I guess it's on to the next Wendell Berry book. I lean toward starting back at the beginning of the Port William series with Berry's 1960 novel, Nathan Coulter, though I'm open to suggestions from the Wendell Berry diehards. I imagine I'll read them all at some point.

For just a snapshot of the way Berry writes — the way his words can gently supplant life's hamster wheel with a sense of wonder for the natural world — listen to the author read one of his poems, "The Peace of Wild Things," below, which features an animation by Charlotte Ager and Katy Wang, courtesy of the podcast On Being.