Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

We get hurt and we hurt others, we are born and find suffering, we continue on and get older. We get older, our bodies change in ways that are hard to accept. We wrinkle, we sag, the glow in our skin turns to sallowness, transluscence, the hair turns dry, gray. We give, we receive. We are not perfect, don't always know what we are doing or why. The earth has so many problems, conflicts, wars, environmental disasters. Yet we go out on a hike, along a river for six miles and feel connected to the earth, a belonging. We see the river change and flow. We breathe the sweet air of spring while it is late winter. We and friends go through so much, scarred. We get together, breathe together and find a beauty beyond the hurts and pains and scars. We reopen the scars. Hurt again. Together, under the clouds that flow in the wind, over the flowing river, we walk and find beauty. We find real in the resistance we have to what is. It's all resisting love.

"I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down. Simone Weil says simply, 'Let us love the country of here below. It is real; it offers resistance to love.' " Annie Dillard


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