Give me your hand.
“So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.” The poet Wendell Berry wrote this in his poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front. I just learned about this poem a couple of weeks ago by chance. The entire poem is beautiful but this particular line means a lot to me. It’s in doing the things that have no clear end that I find the most comfort in and interest me the most.
This also describes my painting habit well. I rarely have the end in mind. It’s more interesting to see what appears. To build up, remove, think, destroy, start again—a time to free my mind and let go to what ‘won’t compute’. This painting was not trying to be figurative, but it felt that way in the end so those words followed. No plan, no pre-sketch, no set of steps to get there, but suddenly there is this thing that is beautiful to me with a sentiment that has meaning.
Later in Berry’s poem he says,
“Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.”