"Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" by Annie Dillard

| 📖 # 27 |


Title: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Author: Annie Dillard
Start Date: 6/20/16
End Date: 7/8/16
# of Pages: 271
Edition: Harpercollins Fifth Edition paperback (1988)

Favorite Quotes: (1) “Today is one of those excellent January partly clouds in which light chooses an unexpected part of the landscape to trick out in gilt, and then shadow sweeps it away. You know you’re alive. You take huge steps, trying to feel the planet’s roundness arc between your feet.” (2) “But there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied. The difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between 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. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer.” (3) “‘Vermeil doc!’ ‘Last forever!’ Who hasn’t prayed that prayer?” (4) “Why do we lose interest in physical mastery? If I feel like turning cartwheels—and I do—why don’t I learn to turn cartwheels, instead of regretting that I never learned as a child?” (5) “The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit's one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock—more than a maple—universe.”

Why I Chose It: Andrew Collins sent me a PDF of the second chapter, “Seeing”, and I liked it so much I bought the book.

Other Notes: The quotes likely explain why you should read this. It is a book which expertly draws you into the author’s world and experience. If the test of a good book is whether you can get lost in the world of the writer and emerge refreshed, this is a good book.

BooksKarl Magnuson