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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

cover of An American Childhood

Finally read this book. It's been on my list for a while and I got the chance to read it this summer. Read the last twenty pages the night before I left on a long trip. Dillard's writing is a gift -- something to savor. Her childhood ideas are not the same ones I had, but she shares them in a way that gave me a chance to understand and imagine with her. To see through her eyes in very practical ways. Each chapter is centered around a certain idea that connects the vignettes together. Dillard paints beautiful images with her words -- one woman who was created to write.

In a couple chapters, she writes about going to church. About communion and how she wished she'd missed it (at an older age than most of the book) -- but then she looks around at all her classmates and they are actually serious about their praying once they have received the bread and wine (grape juice?). Which she would not have expected. Wondering if she missed out on something. In another, she talks about some of the verses and phrases and ideas which stuck with her. She places them together to form a sort of liturgy which is all scriptural, and sweet to read. And sometimes I think we need to do that -- compare pieces of scripture and answer questions from one place with verses from another. So often people ask questions that have little do with the actual text -- but more truth is to be found in God's Word than we often realize. It's worth it to search it out and memorize pieces and take it into our being in such a way that it somehow affects our thoughts and actions and words. That's part of what it means to be a Christ-follower.

Title:An American Childhood
Author:Annie Dillard
Date published:1987
Number of pages:255


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