Sunday, July 14, 2013

our breath is not our own

Something pummels us, something barely sheathed. Power broods and lights. We’re played on like a pipe; our breath is not our own. James Houston describes two young Eskimo girls sitting cross-legged on the ground, mouth on mouth, blowing by turns each other’s throat cords, making a low, unearthly music. When I cross again the bridge that is really the steers’ fence, the wind has thinned to the delicate air of twilight; it crumples the water’s skin. I watch the running sheets of light raised on the creek’s surface. The sight has the appeal of the purely passive, like the racing of light under clouds on a field, the beautiful dream at the moment of being dreamed. The breeze is the merest puff, but you yourself sail headlong and breathless under the gale force of the spirit.

— Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


  1. I'm so pleased you are receiving so much from this book, Ruth.

  2. Beautiful - yes - we are breathed by the Infinite Breath. As Dillard says: "under the gale force of the spirit." Interesting imagery :) I think I might like this book as well... Thank you for the inspiration :)

  3. Ditto to what Robert said. I always knew you would find deep veins of gold in Annie Dillard's books.


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