Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Moment with Annie Dillard

Annie Dillard was born on April 30, 1945. Since it's her birthday, I thought we might spend a moment with her this morning. This is from her essay "Living Like Weasels," which can be found in The Annie Dillard Reader (HarperPerennial, 1995), a book which (along with her The Writing Life), belongs in your library.

She writes:

I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. I come to Hollins Pond not so much to learn how to live as, frankly, to forget about it. That is, I don't think I can learn from a wild animal how to live in particular--shall I suck warm blood, hold my tail high, walk with my footprints precisely over the prints of my hands?--but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical sense and the dignity of living without bias or motive. The weasel lives in necessity and we live in choice, hating necessity and dying at the last ignobly in its talons. I would like to live as I should, as the weasel lives as he should. And I suspect that for me the way is like the weasel's: open to time and death painlessly, noticing everything, remembering nothing, choosing the given with a fierce and pointed will.


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