Real Work, or Smart Farmers & Tina Turner


It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, & when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. 

Those are the words of renowned author, academic, & farmer (!) Wendell Berry, & while I can fully disclose that I have read absolutely none of his work, I came across this quote of his over a year ago thanks to Goodreads (let’s be friends!). I’ve had it open in a Google Chrome tab on my phone since then because I knew it was speaking to me. This sense of murky obscurity had begun to creep into my professional space, & I knew that something was coming.

Let’s be real for a moment. Adages such as “everything happens for a reason” give me nosebleeds. I’m definitely a dreamer, but I also have developed just enough cynicism throughout the years to avoid becoming treacly.

Still, when I think about the aforementioned Berry quote in regards to the perfect storm (too soon for puns?) of how I’ve just become a librarian, the flooding that swept away our school, & this massive outpouring of support from across the country & beyond, I can’t help but bask in the beauty of it all. It feels like my life has become this epically grand tapestry, woven together with all sorts of unpredictable & nontraditional materials to create something that is near-staggering to behold. Pause for a deep breath with me.

Tomorrow, boxes will begin arriving at our (temporary) school. Each one will overwhelm me as I know that its contents were sent out of an appreciation of the written word, a recognition of the importance of reading, & the desire to help another human. That is solid, friends. That is a foundation on which we can build just about anything.

When I wrote that original blog post, those words that have assuredly changed my life, I was at the point when I no longer knew what to do. I had left a good job to come into a school that was flooded & left void of its primary tool. I was at the place where I no longer knew where to go — beyond a crossroads, a dead end maybe. It was that blog post & the response of all of you beautiful people that set me off on this journey, igniting within me the recognition that I have now come to my real work.

Seeing as how you have been such an instrumental part of this experience, I hope you will subscribe to the blog (look to your left!) to keep abreast on how exactly the generosity of so many will come to heal our community. As we sang at my church this morning, greater things have yet to come. Greater things are still to be done in this city.

For those of you who have personally contacted me through Twitter, comments on this blog, or through email, I am working diligently to respond to each & every one of you. I even had a couple of helpers tonight, so I apologize, in advance, for typos.

Colonel, Daddy, & Hushpuppy

Thank you for all that you have done so far. Thanks for all of the books that your have sent. Thanks for retweeting. Thanks for sharing the blog on Facebook. Thanks to whomever submitted us to Reddit &, interestingly enough, FOX News. Thanks to the local newspaper where my parents & in-laws reside & where I graduated high school. Thanks to everyone who has been emailing Ellen. Lol.

Like Tina Turner said, you guys are simply the best. It is what it is. Don’t argue with Tina.

2 thoughts on “Real Work, or Smart Farmers & Tina Turner

  1. T. Wilkinson

    In not knowing what to do, you–Trey–used your facility with a most-powerful tool: words. You fell back on your writing talent, and spoke to people’s hearts. From my perspective, THAT’S your real work!

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