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.We teach our children to look alive there, to join by words and activities the life of human culture on this planet's crust. We have so mastered the transition we make a hundred times a day, as, like so many will-less dolphins, we plunge and surface, lapse and emerge.

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), 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 .

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?

God--or something--is vividly present, however, in a viewing (with screams) of the total solar eclipse: "It was as though an enormous, loping god in the sky had reached down and slapped the earth's face." And God is there in Dillard's frequent Silences: a silent field swirling with angels; the particular silence that fills the room of a man who has devoted his life to teaching a stone to talk.

Still: a collection of meditations like polished stones-painstakingly worded, tough-minded yet partial to Mystery, and peerless when it comes to injecting larger resonances into the natural world.

It is the alpha and the omega, it is God's brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blinded note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings.

You take a step in the right direction to pray to this silence, and even to address the prayer to "World." Distinctions blur. Pray without ceasing.” ― “I am sorry I ran from you.

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.


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