Nearness to Joy

The grief that came to me then was nothing like the grief I had felt for myself alone, at the end of my stay in Lexington. This grief had something in it of generosity, some nearness to joy. In a strange way it added to me what I had lost. I saw that, for me, this country would always be populated with presences and absences, presences of absences, the living and the dead. The world as it is would always be a reminder of the world that was, and of the world that is to come.

p. 132, Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry

I just would like to put in another plug for Berry’s work.  I started reading his writing in a collection of short stories, called Fidelity, and moved on to Hannah Coulter. Now I’m deep into what most people say is his other masterwork, Jayber Crow.  It’s every bit as good as people say it is — maybe better.