When she’s hungry, she looks for the garden

I love Annie Dillard. I love her writing, which seems to possess a kind of singular beauty. I’m once again thinking of this quote of hers and finding it at once bolstering and convicting:

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.

– Annie Dillard

I confess I haven’t felt like much of a writer lately. My words have slowed down. I’ve been prioritizing other things. Life and health have become sometimes sad—maybe moreso than usual. This will pass, and yet it still seems hard.

Ah, I want to end this blog post triumphantly, but maybe it’s most honest to say that writing is still someplace I can go. That even when the light on the porch of my own creative practice seems dark and dim, it never goes out completely.

And there has to be something very hopeful in that.

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