{december lights: small & pinned down}

Oakland Museum of California 114

From A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard: “Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.

I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.

Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

May you live all the days of your life.
Arise. Shine.

6 Replies to “{december lights: small & pinned down}”

  1. I am drawn to the tiny moments of grace, to the details and magic of ordinary life, to small acts of kindness, to growing tomatoes while I am raising Cain/Lazarus. But I think what this is saying is not to live in the safety of the unnoticed, of the unconscious; not to make ourselves small and call it living. What do you think?

    1. @Barb: I agree – I think she’s saying to LIVE BIGGER, to spend all we have, as Sara Teasdale advised, for loveliness:
      Spend all you have for loveliness,
      Buy it and never count the cost;
      For one white singing hour of peace
      Count many a year of strife well lost,
      And for a breath of ecstasy
      Give all you have been, or could be.

      Life writ large is what it means to arise and shine, perhaps.

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