Monday, July 25, 2011

"Seeing"


From Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek":

When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw “the tree with the lights in it.”

It was for this tree I searched through the peach orchards of summer, in the forests of fall and down winter and spring for years. Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it.

I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.

The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.

I have since only very rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.

--Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

8 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Stunning photo, beautiful words.

Cathy said...

Oh, Sweet Lynne . . . here you are . . . as always . . as true as the sunrise . .

Thank you. :)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I need to get to work and put a blog post together....

I have a question for you. Your post reminded me that I have been searching for a word that means

all is right with the world or all is as it should be or I am where I am supposed to be, where God wants me to be.

Can you think of such a word? Not peace or serendipity. I think I might have learned the word back in catechism.

Goofy question?! I've been searching for that word for years! Maybe you can find it for me!

Cathy said...

Lynne, I love it. I'm searching my brain. I promise I'll give an opinion! May take a while :-)

Cathy said...

Lynne, this word is sure a new one for me. Hmmm . . doesn't sound like anything I heard in catechism, but I was day-dreaming a lot. Of course it brings to mind 'Agape' which really doesn't carry the entire sense that you're looking for. This is fun !

Ataraxis

Noun
(n.) peace, peacefulness, peace of mind, repose, serenity, heartsease, ataraxis (the absence of mental stress or anxiety).

http://www.smartdefine.org/ataraxis

Laurie said...

Beautiful post and beautiful conversation between you and Lynne. How I have missed my blogging friends.

Leopold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cathy said...

Geeze, Laurie.

I missed your comment.

There must be some button that I've yet to find that notifies me when someone leaves a comment.

Yes, I chide myself for not dropping in on old blogging friends.

There's so much on my plate and honestly - the longer I remain away and the greater the guilt grows... the harder it is to drop in and just say Hi.