Gaze Intently

Annie Dillard is my hero when it comes to gazing intently at the natural world. 

A sample from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

  • “What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet?  The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening.  If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow”  (p.97).
  • “I must go down to the creek again.  It is where I belong, although as I become closer to it, my fellows appear more and more freakish, and my home in the library more and more limited” (p.178-79).
  • “Often I slop some creek water in a jar and when I get home I dump it in a white china bowl.  After the silt settles I return and see tracings of minute snails on the bottom, a planarian or two winding round the rim of water, roundworms shimmying frantically, and finally, when my eyes have adjusted to these dimensions, amoeba… At length I choose one individual and give myself over to its idea of an evening” (p.24).

I want to give myself over to hundreds of beings bursting into being around me.  I post results of my adventures in the “Move Freely” section.  I’ll write about the places and ways that I’ll slop water.  But this section is the place where I can pour-out the water and look at it closely, to adjust my eyes to another dimension, as Dillard does.

I’ve already laid-out several bowls which I expect to fill:  Education (I learn how to divide fractions and consider our education system), Politics, Charity, “Church” Music , Authentic Theology, Technology and others.  I have been walking beside these streams of thought for years but I finally have time to scoop up some of the water and take a look.

If you want to express your opinion please do!  You are part of my education!



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