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photography: amy | pretty life photography |

There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end…But I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright…We are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Annie Dillard

She diddled in the itsy-bitsy. Not what I want scrawled as my epitaph, but how do we embrace these wilder things? Or perhaps the better question is, do we really desire them at all? If not, why not? And each one of us is unique. One person’s comfort may be another person’s chaos. I think perhaps the most important question to answer is Who is calling us into the unknown.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12


†Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1974), 274.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/01/2010 12:05 pm

    Good thoughts this Monday morning.

  2. 02/01/2010 1:42 pm

    Goodmorning, Amy. Thank you.

  3. 02/01/2010 5:58 pm

    oh, how i love annie dillard. though i’d somehow lost track of this bit over the years. she’s magic, in ink. brings brand new eyes with every read.

  4. 02/01/2010 6:50 pm

    I had a conversation along these lines with a friend this week. there is so much loose energy out there…sometimes I want to grab onto each piece but that leaves me scattered all over the place…discernment regarding where to put my energy is always a challenge…and everyone must work out their own priorities. For me it was raising Cain (Bennett’s middle name was Cain…a family name) and now its raising Jude. Boy… I am blessed!

  5. 02/01/2010 7:56 pm

    number our days . such words to live by . image so fabulous . elk

  6. 02/01/2010 8:40 pm

    this is a really a fun place to come. i like your thoughts here so much. i am totally not interested in a whole lot of itsy bitsy. i actually squirm away from it, most of the time. i am so happy to meet you, gina.

  7. 02/02/2010 2:25 pm

    Yes! Annie Dillard was a genius. Your words ring true, as well, Gina.

  8. 02/02/2010 7:01 pm

    Wow! I van totally relate to this. And it’s something that’s on my heart often. Why don’t I dream bigger? Should I? Well said!

    p.s…the crocheted hearts and flowers are from here:

  9. 6512 and growing permalink
    02/03/2010 3:00 am

    Love Annie Dillard. Thanks for raising these questions.
    The internet brings me a lot of itsy-bitsy. A quick look here, a glance there, a click here. Much of it is entertaining, inspiring and even community-raising; much of it sinks down a black hole of time.

  10. 02/03/2010 4:45 pm

    I have had a recent bout of manic energy. My mind seems everywhere. I wonder how much has been focused on that which is really relevant.

  11. 02/08/2010 3:17 pm

    I am delighted to have discovered this treasure trove. Thanks for pouring out

  12. 02/08/2010 5:16 pm

    Also, I have long pondered this concern about “merely growing tomatoes…” and it leads me to think of the Shire in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Those within live those lives of day to day simplicity in friendship, relationship to land, and delight in good food. They have itsy-bitsy friends, itsy-bitsy meals, and itsy-bitsy journeys… yes, for years on end. And yes the world is much wilder outside their borders. But, the Shire seems to have a corner on the crafting of souls. Those decades spent in the itsy- bitsy seem to often prepare hearts for depths of bravery, resolve, joy, faithfulness…

    Let’s not constantly desire to be the Elves or the Rangers in the story. Be wary of underestimating HOBBITS.

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