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TCC Reads: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

We recommend Annie Dillard’s collection of essays about the natural world and our place in it, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. The book records the narrator’s thoughts on solitude, writing, and religion, as well as scientific observations on the flora and fauna she encounters. Touching upon themes of faith, nature, and awareness, Dillard once described it as a “book of theology.” It also contains one of the best essays ever written on vocation, “Living Like Weasels”. Read the whole essay here: Living Like Weasels. Read an excerpt after the jump:

“We could, you know. We can live any way we want. People take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience–even of silence–by choice. The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. This is yielding, not fighting. A weasel doesn’t ‘attack’ anything; a weasel lives as he’s meant to, yielding at every moment to the perfect freedom of single necessity.

I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even deathwhere you’re going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles.”