An Annie Dillard paragraph is like the cosmos: both wondrous and natural, both vast and small in scale, both esoteric and exoteric, simultaneously.
How does she write both so naturally and so brilliantly at the same time?
(Incidentally, dILLArd and brILLiAnt share a lot of the same letters, and if you mirror the initial lowercase d in dillard, you get a b. And if you move the r, you get even closer to finding dillard within brilliant: brill_a_ _.)
Dillard observes closely, yes. And she makes insightful connections, yes. But there's something more to her brilliance. Is it raw intelligence? (I hesitate to say raw, because her intelligence oviously supercedes a gift. She has honed it, practiced it, stretched it, and shared it.)
At any rate, Dillard makes intelligence seem as natural as taking a walk or eating "two eggs over easy."
I wish it were that easy.
Note: I am reading Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters by Annie Dillard. I'm skipping around in the book, but so far I really liked the first paragraph of "Total Eclipse" and sections V. and VI. of "Teaching a Stone to Talk."
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