Have you ever had the strange experience of being 100% certain that you had read a book, maybe even that it was one of your favorite books, decided to re-read it for old time’s sake, (because, after all, it’s one of your favorites), and discovered you had never read it at all?
This happened to me tonight with the Annie Dillard classic, Teaching a Stone to Talk. I started reading and, once I got over the shock that I had never read this treasure, that it has been waiting for me until just this moment when I need it, I was transfixed.
In the opening essay, Dillard says:
“At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world’s word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. “