Saturday, January 16, 2010


"Wendell Berry often uses the word convivial to characterize our potential relationships with the wider earth, an apt and unusual word […].Convivial is an adjective implying a participatory liveliness; it is derived from the Latin convivium, a joining of con, ‘with,’ and vivere, ‘to live.’ Eric Partridge notes that vivere refers not just to humans but also to other creatures, and he points to the Latin word convivia, another word for ‘a banquet’ but also ‘a fellow banqueter.’ The notion of conviviality thus unfolds into a joining of living creatures about a celebratory meal, a shared fest – but what a peculiar table this is. As humans, we have a unique role in determining the well-being of our more-than-human communities. Coexistence is complicated, but one thing is sure: we share the land in the broad Leopoldian sense, and so we share the food, water, and elbow room – the convivial sense of a common life. We cannot set the table by –or for – ourselves alone."

-- from Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness


knithound brooklyn said...

I found much to enjoy in this book. That particular piece was one of them.

amarilla said...

A beautiful word.