skye's Reviews > Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
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's review
Aug 10, 2010

it was amazing
Recommended to skye by: elizabeth metz
Recommended for: JVs
Read from January 01 to March 01, 2010

Thanks to Eli Metz for this one! She lent it to me in JVC: DC and it sat waiting for four years before it came to me. I tried reading it in Brooklyn and couldn't get into it. But here - riding the bus on cold sad January, February, March mornings - Dillard spoke right to me. It's all about presence - paying attention - seeing - and then she jumps full in to the basic (religious) problem of the universe.

Of course, some people don't see the problem. "So there's murder, starvation, war, horror -- that's just how it is. Get over it." Would it were that easy for descendants of the Judeo+Christian tradition... Dillard nails it. It all comes back to the giant water bug sucking the insides out of a frog - the surprised frog's skin collapsing like a popped balloon. What kind of Creation is this? She continues in, admitting all the horror, not turning away. Indeed, she recounts more horror, in more layers of creation - parasitic wasps, parasites generally - than any atheist. But she also keeps her hand on the beauty. There isn't really an intellectual resolution that I can recall - but she sure lays out the issues right.

An incredible book - and I can't wait to read more of her work. I'll even re-read "The Living" (from high school)... and last week at a bar, Brendan was reading selections from "For the Time Being". (The waitress thought us reading to each other was "cute". Little did she know we were talking Dillard on Teilhard..)
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