Thursday, May 22, 2014

On Writing; Also Living; by Annie Dillard

Recently I finished my second reading of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard. I really love this woman, and I can't say why, except that her writing connects me to something vital, something lasting, something true. When I read this book, the passages are so rich, so living, so full of splendor, that I want to amplify my voice to the whole world as I shout them from mountaintops. 

There's a certain comfort in rereading, even working at a library bursting to the seams with new books. It's like my brain has tucked away the memories from the places we have visited together, Annie and I, and when we revisit them, they are even better than the first time. These places seem to me even more alive, colorful, waiting to release yet another veil, another layer to show me, a new discovery that I did not see before. 

This is why I reread, and why I think it is worth the time, the effort, the application of one's self. 

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

― Annie DillardThe Writing Life

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