Saturday, October 7

all the joy

One of the few things I got accomplished in this week off was finishing a book that was written so brilliantly that I was jealous, wondering why I can't say things like that: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard. Before I share the book with a friend, I leave here a few quotes from when she remembers the time she ran down the street trying to fly.

Just once I wanted a task that required all the joy I had. Day after day I had noticed that if I waited long enough, my strong unexpressed joy would dwindle and dissipate inside me, over many hours, like a fire subsiding, and I would at last calm down. Just this once I wanted to let it rip. Flying rather famously required the extra energy of belief, and this, too, I had in superabundance.

You can't test courage cautiously, so I ran hard and waved my arms hard, happy.

What I was letting rip, in fact, was my willingness to look foolish, in his eyes and my own. Having chosen this foolishness, I was a free being. How could the world ever stop me, how could I betray myself, if I was not afraid?

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