I realized I never read Dillard's transcendentalist theodicy all the way through (despite calling it one of my favorites), and that I needed a dose of nature writing since moving to New York. What I learned this time was how right I was in loving my goldfish, how susceptible I am to the poet's side of agnosticism, and -- even though there's got to be more of a complex ecosystem in this city than just "acres of rats" -- how I still need to somehow make enough money to get to the country with some free time on my hands.— Audrey
A year in the life of Annie Dillard's wanderings and wonderings on the shores of Tinker Creek in the Roanoke Valley. Not all beauty and wonder, nature is very much alive and bleeding, sometimes dead and bloody, cyclic and fleeting: what Dillard describes as a "now you see it now you don't" affair. Rest assured she preserves the seeing for us all... better than the real thing?— Bekah
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is the story of a dramatic year in Virginia's Roanoke Valley. Annie Dillard sets out to see what she can see. What she sees are astonishing incidents of "beauty tangled in a rapture with violence."
Her personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. In the summer, Dillard stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall, she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays King of the Meadow with a field of grasshoppers. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.