Annie Dillard Reader, An

Annie Dillard

I'm feeling like rereading some Annie Dillard sometime soon.  I don't know, for some reason I feel like I could use a reminder about seeing the beauty around us.

Here is one of my favorite Dillard Quotes, from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

Annie describes another young <blind> patient's first visit to a
garden after her sight was restored: "She is greatly astonished, and
can scarcely be persuaded to answer, stands speechless in front of the
tree, which she only names on taking hold of it, and then as `the tree
with the lights in it." {PTC, 28} Annie searches for this raw,
unmediated experience of the Divine. She tells us of her quest to see
`the tree with the lights in it.' and how she spends time trying to see
things just as patches of color, as the raw, unfiltered data.

writes, "Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of
nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw a
backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured,
each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in
it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It
was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked
breathless by a powerful glance.
The flood of fire abated, but I'm
still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar,
the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still
ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at
that moment I was lifted and struck.

(my emphasis)

There's something about Dillard that completely opens you up, and fills you with awe.  Philosophy and theology can sometimes feel cold…Dillard has a way of taking you out of that world, and placing you into one that is brimming with beauty in every corner. 

I can't wait till we read her in the Analogical Imagination.

Speaking of the book/movie club, I'm still reading Brothers Karamazov, and probably won't finish for another three weeks or so.  Hope everyone is enjoying it.  I'm really liking it so far. 🙂

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  1. I have never read Annie Dillard and am looking forward to doing so, soon. Maybe we could read it for the summer? Huston Smith quoted her at least 5 times in the book I just read by him and several times in his interview with Moyers.

  2. Awesome! So great to know that Smith loves her! I really think you'll love her too. Just how you felt when going from reading Borg to Smith…you'll find a similar, if not greater, sense of awe when reading Dillard. I really can't wait to share her with you in particular! 🙂

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