Essay Teaching A Stone To Talk

It is madness to wear a ladies straw hat and velvet hats to church - we should all be wearing crash helmets. Also, I loved this opinion piece from The Guardian that I stumbled on when reading more about her work by Geoff Dyer: Teaching A Stone to Talk made me realise I am drawn to wild authors.Although I am not, generally, a reader of nature studies, Dillard's essays seem just perfect to me.

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And, in one of the longer pieces, Dillard sees a bumbling Catholic church service ("God is so mighty he can stifle his own laughter") as analagous to the search-for-the-sublime of the Polar explorers: "What are the chances that God finds our failed impersonation of human dignity adorable? And, throughout, Dillard's sharp images occasionally slide over into elevated greeting-card verbiage, while her salutary undercutting remarks can quite often become precious.

.") But: is God there in church, in organized religion? So she encounters a little boy drilled in Fundamentalism, later ponders the anti-Darwinism (unnecessary, she thinks) of Creationists. " Here, however, the metaphor is cruelly belabored.

), but in a variety of encounters with animals, stars, vegetation, and people.

She watches a gloriously-described weasel ("a muscled ribbon") go for the throat; in the Ecuadorian jungle she sees a captured deer in agony; she recalls a Miami man who was burned horribly twice; and rather than try to reconcile these things with God's existence, she usually accepts them .

It is hard to desecrate a grove and change your mind. We doused the burning bush and cannot rekindle it; we are lighting matches in vain under every green tree.” ― “In the deeps are the violence and terror of which psychology has warned us.

But if you ride these monsters deeper down, if you drop with them farther over the world's rim, you find what our sciences cannot locate or name, the substrate, the ocean or matrix or ether which buoys the rest, which gives goodness its power for good, and evil its power for evil, the unified field: our complex and inexplicable caring for each other, and for our life together here. It is not learned.” ― “Geography is the key, the crucial accident of birth.

And she encouraged me to read everything she has written. Although I am not, generally, a reader of nature studies, Dillard's essays seem just perfect to me.

I see the reviews of my fellow Goodreaders and I can echo them, Dillard is an artist and her words both perplexed and thrilled me (the polar expedition histories interspersed with detailed observations about the eclectic praise band at her church - finally meshing together with a trippy baby christening on an arctic ice flow?? Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares and lash us to our pews for the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return. Annie Dillard is one of the most satisfying essayists I know.

A piece of protein could be a snail, a sea lion, or a systems analyst, but it had to start somewhere. And the landscape in which the protein "starts" shapes its end as surely as bowls shape water.” ― “Could two live that way?

Could two live under the wild rose, and explore by the pond, so that the smooth mind of each is as everywhere present to the other, and as received and as unchallenged, as falling snow?

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