I love how it starts out…
I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest.
I like that. I love her fascination with life.
Makes me recall her excellent memoir, An American Childhood, which is where I first met the furiously curious Annie Dillard.
From her very earliest years she has a profound awareness of the mystery of life, nothing is without wonder, everything worthy of further scientific investigation. She has what Abraham Maslow called a "freshness of appreciation" meaning not only that nothing escapes her notice, but also that she tends to find some positive result out of all of her experiences, and I find this to be an enviable trait.
The book, her childhood, takes place in Pittsburgh in the 1950's.
She is afforded much freedom and affluence in her somewhat eccentric and hilarious family [her mother didn't like the taste of stamps, so she didn't lick stamps; she licked the corner of the envelope instead]. Dillard wonderfully paints a picture of a world that is charged with wonder, and gives us a sense that this electrified world is not just hers, but also the world of the reader.
It's true that one has to be patient with Dillard's disconnected vignettes... there are diversions that seem to bust up the chronology of events, but overall, the book is great in that it makes the reader feel that perhaps they too have never lived an insignificant day.
She says: "...it is not you or I that is important, neither what sort we might be nor how we came to be each where we are. What is important is anyone's coming awake and discovering a place, finding in full orbit a spinning globe one can lean over, catch, and jump on. What is important is the moment of opening a life and feeling it touch - with an electric hiss and cry - this speckled mineral sphere, our present world."
She seems to be saying that there is a glory in the mundane.
And I agree with her.
I think there is.