I finally finished Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek this afternoon. It was an endurance event, apparently. But I did enjoy each enduring mile. It wasn't perfect; it wasn't life-changing on a grand scale; however, it was inspiring. It makes me want to sleep in the barn and walk in the woods and simply observe more than I do. I don't feel like I see anywhere near enough of the world to be able to record it. She made me so envious of the freedom she had (at 27) to just sit - for hours - with no discernible pressure to do anything else. But at times, I was also put off by this same freedom. I had to wonder at times why she didn't have anything else to do. How could she just stop life for hours to lie on her belly in a field and watch a praying mantis lay eggs? How did she avoid living while she was watching everything else be so alive?
The interesting thing about this book is that immediately upon finishing, I thought I would probably like to read this book again in some span of years. It seems like one you could read at different points of life and always glean something different from your new perspective.
One final passage to inspire:
It was as if the season's color were draining away like lifeblood, as if the year were molting and shedding. The year was rolling down, and a vital curve had been reached, the tilt which gives way to headlong rush. And when the monarchs had passed and were gone, the skies were vacant, the air poised. The dark night into which the year was plunging was not a sleep but an awakening, a new and necessary austerity, the sparer climate for which I longed. The shed trees were brittle and still, the creek light and cold, and my spirit holding its breath. (260-261)