Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

I am currently reading Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.  It is an interesting choice for me.  Dillard describes seasons and experiences visiting a local creek.  She eloquently writes about birds, insects, plants, and the endless drama of wildlife.  Through this lens she writes a beautiful account of existence.  The work is poetic and artful in and of itself.  Through this lens of experience she tackles science, philosophy, and theology.  I certainly find myself disagreeing with her often, especially in matters of theology.  However, her investigation is worth the journey.  The attempt to analyze and question the universe through everyday experience is a noble one, and perhaps I feel it parallels my own journey.

In a particular passage, Dillard is asking why it is beautiful.  She writes, “Beauty is something objectively performed.   Beauty itself is a language to which we have no key.  It is the mute cipher.”

I could argue quiet the opposite that beauty it completely internal, something that psychologists and behaviorist- even human evolutionists- have the charge to solve.  I would argue that if there is a key it is in our brains.  None the less, it is an interesting discussion and Dillard’s work gives me the opportunity to enter the dialogue.  She asks the questions.