Friday, January 15, 2010

Not Exactly food

This post is not exactly about food. This post is more the enchanted side of the enchanted fig. Where does enchantment come from?

Tonight I saw two Barn Owls ouside, flying around and chirping at eachother. Mating, or matching, I'm guessing.

This is my street, one mile out of town, in March. It is enchanted.

If you have not read Annie Dillard yet, you must get in your car. Please, drive quickly and safely to the nearest book store, go up to the first person who works there and explain your predicament: "I have yet to encounter Annie Dillard. Please, lead me to the Annie Dillard section." Then, buy it. Don't read it in the store, you may need all afternoon and no offense to bookstores, but they tend to not be exceptionally comfortable places (this is as it should be--a book store is a place to browse and buy, buy, buy, not sit at the in-house coffee bar for three hours and then put the book back on the shelf, claiming to not have enough money...when really, in all likelyhood, you have a steady job and have a more regular and reliable income than the poor genius who wrote that very book).

Back to the the book and go home. Make a pot--a pot, not a cup--of tea, and sit down already. Read. Read the whole damned brilliant book. Read it again.

Annie Dillard is not enchanted in the usual sense of the word, at least not in her writing. She is as practical and feet on the ground as a glass of milk. Her echantedness is found in the intensity with which she meets the world and the super-real world that develops in her writing of it.

My favorite book is Holy the Firm. It is a tiny imp of a book, but I have read it at least 15 times. It is about holiness and fire and calling. I go back to it like I go back to oatmeal for breakfast--to regroup. I go there to remember who I am, how the world fits together in my mind, and how at the same time, it is supposed to fall apart.

There are a few writers I aspire to emulate. Annie Dillard is one of them. And on my list of non-fiction writers, she is at the top.

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