Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Holy the Firm

I re-read Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard. An excerpt:

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? There is no one but us. There is no one to send, nor a clean hand, nor a pure heart on the face of the earth, nor in the earth, but only us, a generation comforting ourselves with the notion that we have come at an awkward time, that our innocent fathers are all dead--as if innocence had ever been--and our children busy and troubled, and we ourselves unfit, not yet ready, having each of us chosen wrongly, made a false start, failed, yielded to impulse and the tangled comfort of pleasures, and grown exhausted, unable to seek the thread, weak, and involved. But there is no one but us. There never has been. (Harper and Row, 1977)

She is like Donne to me -- difficult, brilliant, stark, unafraid to plumb the depths and attempt a measure of the heights. She delights and scares the bejesus out of you at the same time. She makes you pick up the dictionary. Pay no attention to anything I write, but read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or Teaching a Stone to Talk.

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