Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek[BOOKS] ✮ Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Author Annie Dillard – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons a personal narrative highlighting one year s exploration on foot in the author s own neighborhood in Tinker Creek, Virginia In the summer, Dillard An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons a personal narrative highlighting one year s exploration on foot in the author s own neighborhood in Tinker Creek, Virginia In the summer, Dillard stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics in the fall she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou She tries to con a coot she collects pond water and examines Pilgrim at Kindle - it under a microscope She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays King of the Meadow with a field of grasshoppers. This book won The Pulitzer in 1974 This is the 2nd book I ve recently read which was written in the 70 s simply a coincidence This is also the first book I ve read by Annie Dillard I didn t understand everything yet the writing is exquisite and reading becomes calm meditative Much to admire Ms Dillard her writing talent, her natural curiosity for the natural world around her and her adventures while walking There are many lovely passages..Here s a sample excerpt I read a This book won The Pulitzer in 1974 This is the 2nd book I ve recently read which was written in the 70 s simply a coincidence This is also the first book I ve read by Annie Dillard I didn t understand everything yet the writing is exquisite and reading becomes calm meditative Much to admire Ms Dillard her writing talent, her natural curiosity for the natural world around her and her adventures while walking There are many lovely passages..Here s a sample excerpt I read a few times myself Unfortunately, nature is very much a now you see it, now you don t affair A fish flashes, then dissolves in water before my eyes like so much salt Deer apparently ascend bodily into heaven the brightest oriole fades into leaves These disappearances stun me into stillness and concentration they say of nature that it conceals with a grand nonchalance, and they say a vision that it is a deliberate gift, a revelation of a dancer who for my eyes only flings away her seven veils For nature does reveal as well as conceals now you don t see it, now you do The opening line of this memoir is a treasure I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom , who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest There is something remarkably spiritual about Dillard s thorough observations and painfully accurate descriptions of the natural world in Tinker Creek, her home in Virginia Each chapter evokes the grotesque transformation that insects, reptiles, fish and animals undergo to adapt to the indifferent natural habitat that fosters, disfigures and finally kills them The shifting seasons, attuned to the natural cycle, provide sporadic moments of enlightening contemplations about creation and the forc There is something remarkably spiritual about Dillard s thorough observations and painfully accurate descriptions of the natural world in Tinker Creek, her home in Virginia Each chapter evokes the grotesque transformation that insects, reptiles, fish and animals undergo to adapt to the indifferent natural habitat that fosters, disfigures and finally kills them The shifting seasons, attuned to the natural cycle, provide sporadic moments of enlightening contemplations about creation and the forces that make the world spin on its axis under the inanimate, unknown universe that allows stars to become the source of warmth and life regardless of an apparently soulless disorder of things.Dillard s conception of beauty is based on emptying the mind and abandoning the constant recognition of the self to surrender to one s surroundings, making the natural world the protagonist and not the background of our erratic, uncertain and insignificant lives A type of beauty that shines in the mangled creatures she so carefully devotes her attention to.She unlocks meaning from the water bug sucking the life out of a frog, or from the praying mantis laying eggs after mutilating the male, or from monarch butterflies that hatch and carry the smell of previous seasons with them before they migrate to the south Thecareless and theunaware nature is, thebountiful its outlandish fecundity and growth becomes, and corruption, decay and death are taken as intrinsic stages of this ongoing process of merely being.Words pour out of Dillard s poetic drive, flooding pages with impossible detail and countless scientific facts that she matches up with the spiritual ache that urges her to go out every morning, and some nights, in search of answers.The problem of this particular reader was that she was incapable of joining Dillard in the vacuum of her mental space, in the place where she dropped all questions to become a still mirror, to become what she saw I, on the other hand, remained an outcast, a voyeur of her spiritual communion with the world, unable to partake in its grace and gnarled glory So beautiful and charming A true pearl for the heart and a true spiritual path through the presentation of the Creation and the millions of elements that compose it.As soon as you begin to read it you will be captivated by this joy with all the detailed descriptions and small actions of nature the landscapes, the elements, the small animals that affect Annie.I was very afraid to read it, and instead I found myself to rediscover of what the heart of God and creation is Yes, without realiz So beautiful and charming A true pearl for the heart and a true spiritual path through the presentation of the Creation and the millions of elements that compose it.As soon as you begin to read it you will be captivated by this joy with all the detailed descriptions and small actions of nature the landscapes, the elements, the small animals that affect Annie.I was very afraid to read it, and instead I found myself to rediscover of what the heart of God and creation is Yes, without realizing through this joy of the mutations of nature, it is rediscovered, or rather Annie seeks to discover the mystery of God and his creation It is also a joy to the eyes to read the many biblical references, Latin quotes and passages from the Koran.Don t t do this as I did, that I devoured the book in two days, it should be better to be read very slowly it is not a book with particular action, on the contrary, there is nothing of this, but tasted slowly with due meditation is a true rediscovery of the mystery of the Cosmos Small note that I want to leave you, I have often read many pages even to my husband after a while he clearly told me that it was crazy bothering and tedious it is good 30 pages, but not 300 repeatingor less the same things he said not exactly false what he says, you can also try this during reading I ve teased him, especially because he comes from Virginia and not far from the areas described here, what sore he is Bello, bellissimo una vera perla per il cuore e un vero percorso spirituale attraverso la presentazione del Creato e dai milioni di elementi che lo compongono.Appena inizierete a leggerlo verrete catturati da questa gioia nel leggere tutte le minuziose descrizioni e piccole azioni della natura i paesaggi, gli elementi i piccoli animali che colpiscono Annie.Ero molto timorosa a leggerlo, e invece mi sono ritrovata in una vera riscoperta di cosa il cuore di Dio e del creato Si, senza accorgersi attraverso questa gioia delle mutazioni della natura, si riscopre, o meglio Annie cerca di scoprire il mistero di Dio e del suo creato E una gioia agli occhi anche leggere i tanti riferimenti biblici, citazioni latine e passi del Corano non fate come me che ho divorato il libro in due giorni, deve essere letto con molta lentezza. non un libro con particolare azione, anzi, non vi nulla di ci , ma gustato pian piano con dovuta meditazione una vera riscoperta del mistero del Cosmo piccola annotazione che desidero lasciarvi, ho spesso letto molte pagine anche a mio marito dopo un p mi ha chiaramente detto che era di balla pazzesca vanno bene 30 pagine, ma non 300 ripetendo piu o meno le stesse cose..ecco, non propriamente falso quello che dice, si pu provare anche questo durante la letturaio l ho preso in giro,soprattutto perch lui viene proprio dalla Virginia e non lontano dalle zone qui descritte, che zoticone one of those things that came almost literally from the sky, dropped on the table in front of me with a shrug an nil explanation my absolute favorite book, I LOVE THIS BOOK i ve so far read it five times and bought it for four others highlighted to hell and took lots of notes, referenced it past the point where people are beyond over it so all i ll say is minutiae in nature are extraordinary About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a one of those things that came almost literally from the sky, dropped on the table in front of me with a shrug an nil explanation my absolute favorite book, I LOVE THIS BOOK i ve so far read it five times and bought it for four others highlighted to hell and took lots of notes, referenced it past the point where people are beyond over it so all i ll say is minutiae in nature are extraordinary About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four story building It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty two feet per second per second, through empty air Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant white banded tail, and so floated onto the grass I had just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye there was no one else in sight The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them The least we can do is try to be there yes I have since only very rarely seen the tree with lights in it The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam. pilgrim One who embarks on a quest for some end conceived as sacred Any traveler Pilgrim at Tinker s Creek can perhaps best be described as a journal a travel journal, in which Annie Dillard tells of her pilgrimage to find God Now if this was what I had I have since only very rarely seen the tree with lights in it The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam. pilgrim One who embarks on a quest for some end conceived as sacred Any traveler Pilgrim at Tinker s Creek can perhaps best be described as a journal a travel journal, in which Annie Dillard tells of her pilgrimage to find God Now if this was what I had understood the book to be, I never would have read it And I would have missed an unforgettable reading experience.Nevertheless, the recurrent hints that that s what is going on, though never coalescing into this truth for me, did disturb me somewhat So I want to deal with this aspect of the book and get it out of the way But first this spoiler simply tucks aside the names of the chapters of the book I refer to some of these in the review view spoiler 1 Heaven and Earth in Jest2 Seeing3 Winter4 The Fixed5 Untying the Knot6 The Present7 Spring8 Intricacy9 Flood10 Fecundity11 Stalking12 Nightwatch13 The Horns of the Altar14 Northing15 The Waters of Separation hide spoiler I am not a religious person I don t believe in a God, and as I read Annie s book, I would be bothered about her rather frequent mention of a creator though never with a capital C and less frequent reference to God always with a capital G These things detracted from the narrative for me or so I thought Halfway through the book I wrote this in a status A deep chapter Intricacy , but for me, the following edits must be made read nature for creator or creation everywhere scratch all references to purpose or meaning remove all questions starting with why It remains deep, is still lyrical I m not even sure that Ms Dillard would object I could have left that last phrase out of the quote, but I thought I d be honest and now I realize that Annie might object.But whatever So having crafted this sturdy shield, I returned to the field, read the rest of the book, never bothered raising my shield, and never thought again about the whole thing Just having it made it unnecessary.But, is it really true that Annie wrote this about her search for God Surely that s a bit of a leap, isn t it Okay, here s another spoiler If you want to read the book and form your own judgment, not being bothered with mine, then skip this spoiler view spoiler I have an edition published in 2007 It contains an Afterward written in 1999, presumably for a 25th anniversary edition of the book I m extremely happy that this was put in as an Afterward instead of a Forward, since I would have read it first in the latter case This way I read it last.In the Afterward Ms Dillard relates some things that she read and experienced around 1972, all of which suggested to her that she should write something serious while she was still young How boldly committed to ideas we are in our twenties Why not write some sort of nature book say, a theodicy A theodicyShades of Leibniz.theodicy A vindication of divine justice in the face of the existence of evil.Well, there must be another meaning, nothing in this book about that How about theodicy An area of philosophy that treats of the nature and government of God and the destiny of the soul NATURAL THEOLOGY.That doesn t seem right either But what about that NATURAL THEOLOGY natural theology Theology deriving its knowledge of God from the study of nature independent of special revelation Study of nature Bingo.Dillard goes on describing her thinking about the book she would write.Neoplatonic Christianity described two routes to God the via positiva and the via negativa Philosophers on the via positiva assert that God is omnipotent, omniscient, etc that God possesses all positive attributes I found the via negativacongenial Its seasoned travelers Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century and Pseudo Dionysius in the sixth stressed God s unknowability Anything we say of God is untrue, as we can know only creaturely attributes, which do not apply to God Thinkers on the via negativa jettisoned everything that was not God they hoped that what was left would be only the divine dark Onelevel of spoiler here She also reveals how the book itself fits into these two different ways You are warned view spoiler The book s first half, the via positiva, accumulates the world s goodness and God s After an introductory chapter, the book begins with Seeing The via positiva culminates in Intricacy A shamefully feeble Flood chapter washes all that away, and the second half of the book starts down the via negativa with Fecundity , the dark side of intricacy This half culminates in Northing it is, with the last, my favorite chapter , in which the visible world empties, leaf by leaf Northing is the counterpart to Seeing When I reached Northing I thought, It s now or never for these best bits, so exultant, starved, delirious on caffeine I threw them all in I agree about the Flood chapter hide spoiler There are many other interesting comments in the Afterward Be sure to read it hide spoiler As for religion, Ms Dillard has been exceedingly promiscuous As a child she went to a Presbyterian church her parents did not attend in Pilgrim she mentions all sorts of religions she later became a Roman Catholic and nowadays her web site gives her religion as None.Just to finish up this long introductory section I realize now that the book would not be the book it is without Annie s mention of these religious bits, it wouldn t even have been written probably And without them it would not soar to the heights that it does All of that is certainly worth a little discomfort on my part and is why my initial 4 rating is now an unequivocal 5.The tree with lights Seeing So what is this tree with lights in it It s not a Christmas tree It s introduced in Seeing , the first real chapter of the book, in which Annie explores what seeing Nature might be It just knocked the stuffing out of me.After talking about difficulties, paradoxes, quotations related to really seeing Nature, Dillard comes to a book, Space and Sight, a translation of a German work from 1932 in which the author discusses 66 early cases of people born blind because of cataracts who had their sight restored surgically at different ages These cases provide some of the evidence for how we now believe newborn infants see It turns out there is much to learn before we come to see the way we do In particular, the patients had no idea of what we perceive as space, or distance either The three dimensionality of the world was a concept missing from their mental toolboxes.For the newly sighted, vision is pure sensation unencumbered by meaning The girl went through the experience that we all go through and forget, the moment we are born She saw, but it did not mean anything but a lot of different kinds of brightness But even after three weeks experience of seeing, von Senden goes on, space as he conceives it, ends with visual space, i.e with color patches that happen to bound his view He does not yet have the notion that a larger object can mask a smaller one, or that the latter can still be present even though it is not directly seen A little girl visits a garden 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 lights in it a twenty two year old girl was dazzled by the world s brightness and kept her eyes shut for two weeks When she then opened her eyes again, she did not recognize any objects, but, theshe now directed her gaze upon everything around her, theit could be seen how an expression of gratification and astonishment overspread her features she repeatedly exclaimed Oh God How beautiful Dillard seems to offer that Nature itself or Annie herself wants seeing in a way that we don t naturally understand, or perhaps sense momentarily but forget or maybe knew once because we knew nothing else, and then learned another way which wiped out this purer, primordial way She goes on I saw color patches for weeks after I read this wonderful book But I couldn t sustain the illusion of flatness I ve been around too long Form is condemned to an eternal danse macabre with meaning Nor can I remember ever having seen without understanding the color patches of infancy are lost I m told that I reached for the moon many babies do But the color patches of infancy swelled as meaning filled them they arrayed themselves in solemn ranks down distance which unrolled and stretched before me like a plain The moon rocketed away I live now in a world of shadows that shape and distance color, a world where space makes a terrible kind of sense What Gnosticism is this, and what physics The fluttering patch I saw in my nursery window silver and green and shape shifting blue is gone a row of Lombardy poplars takes its place, mute, across a distant lawn.She feels a sense of loss, she wants to see the world, through these color patches, unraveled from reason, Eden before Adam gave names The scales would drop from my eyes, I d see trees like men walking I d run down the road against all orders, hallooing and leaping Now I must beg the reader s pardon I have muchto say about the book,praise to offer But to finish just this section, I find that Annie s words cannot be summarized They can be condensed, but not changed The last four pages of Seeing can only be given in Annie s words, which float and soar slowly up and up in an increasingly mystic spiral and then slightly down at the end, but with a conclusion which you ve already seen, but which this time allows nothing further to be said. She says that for her, normal seeing is a matter of verbalization Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won t see it But she has another way of seeing that involves a letting go When I see in this way I sway transfixed and emptied The difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference of walking with and without a camera When I walk with a camera I walk from shot to shot, reading the light on a calibrated meter When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment s light prints on my own silver gut One evening, watching Tinker creek flow under her from a log bridge I blurred my eyes and gazed towards the brim of my hat and saw a new world I saw the pale white circles petals roll up, roll up, like the world s turning, mute and perfect, and I saw the linear flashes fish , gleaming silver, like stars being born at random down a rolling scroll of time Something broke and something opened I filled up like a new wineskin I breathed an air like light I saw a light like water I was the lip of a fountain the creek filled forever I was ether, the leaf in the zephyr I was flesh flake, feather, bone.When I see this way I see truly As Thoreau says, I return to my senses But I can t go out and try to see this way I ll fail, I ll go mad All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper dangled before my eyes The effort is really a discipline requiring a lifetime of dedicated struggle it marks the literature of saints and monks of every order East and West The world s spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind s muddy river cannot be dammed Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness mildly acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance Launch into the deep, says Jacques Ellul, and you shall see The literature of illumination reveals this above all although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise I cannot cause light the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind Light, be it particle or wave, has force you rig a giant sail and go The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff It was for the tree with lights in it I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with lights in it I saw the 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 I have since only very rarely seen the tree with lights in it The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam .Previous review The Wire and Philosophy Philosophy LiteRandom review The Spanish LabyrinthNext review Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck Lee KleinPrevious library review Biophilia the human bond with other speciesNext library review The Symbiotic Planet A New Look at Evolution Thomas Merton wrote, There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy bitsy statues There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy bitsy years on end It is so self conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge Thomas Merton wrote, There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy bitsy statues There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy bitsy years on end It is so self conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage I won t have it The world is wilder than that in all directions,dangerous and bitter,extravagant and bright We are making hay when we should be making whoopee we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.Ezekiel excoriates false prophets as those who have not gone up into the gaps The gaps are the things The gaps are the spirit s one homeThe universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest By a power that is unfathomably secret, and holy, and fleet There is nothing to be done about it, but ignore it, or see And then you walk fearlessly, eating what you must, growing wherever you can, like the monk on the road who knows precisely how vulnerable he is, who takes no comfort among death forgetting men, and who carries his vision of vastness and might around in his tunic like a live coal which neither burns nor warms him, but with which he will not part I read Pilgrim every year In high school I wrote my diary as a series of letters to Annie Dillard so gay It s basically about a really smart young woman wandering the forest and thinking about nature and god and philosophy and stuff Think Thoreau reincarnated as a 24 year old chick in the 70s It didn t win the Pulitzer for nothing It s a great book to read when you re in a none of this shit matters mood No celebrities No pop culture references No boys. For me, two stars means I disliked it even though GR says it means it was okay I usually don t finish books that I dislike, that s why I have so few 2 star reviews here on this site However, this one seemed harmless enough, and there were aspects of the book I liked at least when I started For example, there are a lot of stories and anecdotes about nature that were really interesting On cool autumn nights, eels hurrying to the sea sometimes crawl for a mile oracross dewy meado For me, two stars means I disliked it even though GR says it means it was okay I usually don t finish books that I dislike, that s why I have so few 2 star reviews here on this site However, this one seemed harmless enough, and there were aspects of the book I liked at least when I started For example, there are a lot of stories and anecdotes about nature that were really interesting On cool autumn nights, eels hurrying to the sea sometimes crawl for a mile oracross dewy meadows to reach streams that will carry them to salt water These are adult eels, silver eels, and this descent that slid down my mind is the fall from a long spring ascent the eels made years ago In the late summer of the year they reached maturity, they stopped eating and their dark color vanished They turned silver now they are heading to the sea where they will mate, release their eggs, and die Imagine a chilly night and a meadow balls of dew droop from the curved blades of grass Here come the eels The largest are five feet long All are silver They stream into the meadow, sift between grasses and clover, veer from your path There are too many to count All you see is a silver slither, like twisted ropes of water falling roughly, a one way milling and mingling over the meadow and slide to the creek.This is interesting It s this kind of stuff that kept me reading There s still a little bit of over writing in there that I despise, but whatever Now listen to this next part If I saw that sight, would I live If I stumbled across it, would I ever set foot from my door again Or would I be seized to join that compelling rush, would I cease eating, and pale, and abandon all to start walking Blegh The melodrama The romanticization The overly dramatic prose and why does she always think everything has to do with HER Almost every time she mentions some natural phenomena, she inevitably ends the thought with some kind of personal revelation or reaction It s excessive and selfish and human centric It s exactly what I don t want to read in a book about nature She just inserts herself everywhere, as if her thoughts areimportant than what is actually going on As for the language, which people seem to praise, I found it bloated, overwritten and unnecessarily concerned with description Not just description, but description bordering on embellishment I felt her human hands in everything, making the beauty that she often describes into heavy labored prose full of awkward strain and effort This was not a badly written book However, it should not be forced upon poor innocent high school students I have had to read a lot of boring books in my high school career, but this tops them all Just when you thought something interesting was going to happen she watches birds or something for hours True, there were moments of great beauty and her philosphy were not always crazed I respect her art and her view of the world, but she has even said that it s silly for schools to make 16 and 1 This was not a badly written book However, it should not be forced upon poor innocent high school students I have had to read a lot of boring books in my high school career, but this tops them all Just when you thought something interesting was going to happen she watches birds or something for hours True, there were moments of great beauty and her philosphy were not always crazed I respect her art and her view of the world, but she has even said that it s silly for schools to make 16 and 17 year old kids read this book It should be left to the deeper, tree huggers of the world I love this book, but it frustrates me too Maybe it s because Dillard was so young when she wrote it But it doesn t deserve to be compared to Walden Thoreau is arrogant and has a prescription for every one of society s problems Dillard asks hard questions and agonizes over the answers It s never an open and shut case for her I ll read her books again and again, but I might be done with Thoreau.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek eBook Ô Pilgrim at  Kindle -
  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  • Annie Dillard
  • English
  • 28 May 2017
  • 0072434171