Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies. It is the glimpse of oneself in a storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people- the novelist’s world, not the poet’s. I’ve lived there. I remember what the city has to offer: human companionship, major-league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained. I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, “next year … I’ll start living; next year … I’ll start my life.” Innocence is a better world.Annie Dillard's Pulitzer Prize winning book, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," reminded me of a few important truisms. For one, innocence can be a better world. To be completely lost in nature, in music, in a novel, in a relationship, in calligraphy, in ... whatever it is you're into, it can be a beautiful world. She advises to do what you do.
She's also funny.
Squirrels and box turtles are immune to the poison in mushrooms, so it is not safe to eat a mushroom on the grounds that squirrels eat it.
I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty beats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them, under the wind-rent clouds, upstream and down. Simone Weil says simply, “Let us love the country of here below. It is real; it offers resistance to love.”