Monday, June 25, 2018

Letting Go and Holding On

I've been returning to Annie Dillard's essay, Living Like Weasels. (Thanks, Chris.) I am particularly drawn to her last few paragraphs

her reflections on letting go,
"I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. I come to Hollins Pond not so much to learn how to live as, frankly, to forget about it. That is, I don't think I can learn from a wild animal how to live in particularshall I suck warm blood, hold my tail high, walk with my footprints precisely over the prints of my hands?but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical sense and the dignity of living without bias or motive."
and holding on.
"I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you're going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles."
If you haven't read Living Like Weasels, I highly recommend finding and reading the entire essay to see these excerpts in context, and feel the full force of Annie Dillard's raw, rugged, inquisitive nature, and if you have read it, I suggest a return.

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