He wanted to drift on the river not so much to see where it went
as to be one with it, to go with it as virtually a part of it.
He wished perhaps to live out a kind of parable.
One cannot drift by intention –
or at least, in intending to drift and in drifting,
one must accept a severe limitation upon one’s intentions.
But in giving oneself to the currents,
in thus subordinating one’s intentions,
one becomes eligible for unintended goods,
unwished-for gifts –
and often these goods and gifts surpass
those that one has intended or wished for.
And so a drifter subscribes necessarily to a kind of faith
that is identical both to the absolute trust of migrating birds
and to the scripture that bids us to lose our lives in order to find them.
Harlan stated it in 1932 with characteristic simplicity:
“I believe that whatever we need is at hand.”
– Wendell Berry, from Harlan Hubbard – Life and Work