Reading Annie Dillard, especially Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, taught me to see.

But before I get to that, I’ve been practicing my French. For a trip to Paris in 2020 I want to be able to order properly and find my way around, again.

The lesson today was talking about verbs and the French regardez is used for English look. As in, regardez, voici de livre. Look, here is the book. When I heard that I immediately thought of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Here’s a few excerpts to show you why.

I chanced on a wonderful book by Marius von Senden, called Space and Sight. When Western surgeons discovered how to perform safe cataract operations, they ranged across Europe and America operating on dozens of men and women of all ages who had been blinded by cataracts since birth. Von Senden collected accounts of suh cases; the histories are fascinating.

From Chapter two: Seeing

She read these books on lamplit evenings following her exploration of the Tinker Creek area in Virginia’s Roanoke Valley. After reading these accounts, Dillard says, she too saw color patches for weeks.

You see the healed people described what they could suddenly see as patches of color just like infants.

Like me, Dillard asks questions.

Why didn’t someone hand those newly sighted people paints and brushes from the start, when they still didn’t know what anythig was? Then maybe we all could see color-patches too, the world unraveld from reason, Eden before Adam gave names. The scales would drop from my eyes; I’d see trees like men walking; I’d run down the road against all orders, hallooing and leaping.

From Chapter two: seeing

I daresay we can all see color patches, see with fresh eyes, if we dare to look, again. ❤