About life on the land,

& about a woman finding her way in middle age

I go to philosophy for wisdom. I go to my library of skimmed-through books for a new and more thorough understanding of the world and my own (hypothetical) place within it. And sometimes, when reading the best, that is; when reading a thinker who can write like a poet, I feel I get closer to what I was looking for. Not necessarily wisdom, but, you know – something which might resemblance it …

But to be honest, I almost always find literature and art to be better sources …

So now, after several days of futile brawling with Jacques Rancière, I am happily diving into the world of Sue Hubbell. Not knowing what to find, but hoping to steer clear of at least the insane language of contemporary theory. And – as always – hoping for a bit of inspiration, or even

… wisdom?

Hubbell 1

Sue Hubbell

Here is from the opening of Sue Hubbell’s  A Country Year (where the narrator has just ended a 30-year long marriage):

I went through all the usual things: I couldn’t sleep or eat, talked feverishly to friends, plunged recklessly into a destructive affaire (…) And for a long, long time, my mind didn’t work. I could not listen to the news on the radio with understanding. My attention came unglued when I tried to read anything but lightest froth. My brain spun in endless, painful loops, and I could neither concentrate nor think with any semblance of order. I had always rather enjoyed having a mind, and I missed mine extravagantly. I was out to lunch for three years. 

I’m not always sure if this preference of mine has to do strictly with genre, there might – I suppose – also be a  gender component mixed up in it.


When her thirty-year marriage broke up, Sue Hubbell found herself alone and broke on a small Ozarks farm. Keeping bees, she found solace in the natural world. She began to write, challenging herself to tell the absolute truth about her life and the things that she cared about. The result is one of the best-loved books ever written about life on the land, about a woman finding her way in middle age.


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