Friday, May 24, 2013

a holy yes, a beauty inexhaustible...

"The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek."

- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

"No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it. Thus it is impossible to ever compare two people because each stands on such different ground."

- John O'Donohue

"We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn't matter . . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a cafĂ© when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing."

- Natalie Goldberg

I took Annie Dillard's book off the shelf, and opened to the quotation that begins this post. Marking the page was a receipt from The Book Company at Southgate Shopping Centre where I once worked. My 30 percent off discount was applied. May of 1997.

The place I took these photographs is no Tinker Creek. Just an abandoned stand of trees surrounded by suburban houses, apartments and town houses. Smack dab in the middle of it, in a cleared area, is a sign saying, 'NO LOITERING.' Usually some beer cans are thrown at the foot of the sign.

All I can do right now is to say a holy yes, to this light that I keep walking into, a holy yes to the green leaves in their abundance and variety.....a holy yes to this beauty inexhaustible.....


  1. I never made it all the way through Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Though I marveled at it's poetic observations, its density got the better of me. Maybe it's time to give it another go. Thanks for the inspiration! Keep writing, what you do does have meaning and significance. Love your blog!

  2. Thank you, Leigh. Very nice of you to say! And yes, there is a certain density to that book - I find I have to be in a certain frame of mind to read it.


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