The secret to seeing is, then, the pearl of great price.

Annie dillard, pilgrim at tinker creek

I really enjoyed reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Annie Dillard has a way of writing that is by parts beautifully horrific, as in the story about the june bug sucking the life out of a whole frog and leaving nothing but its skin coat, and beautifully splendid, as in the story about color patches and healed sight.

The frog story taught me not to read Dillard before bedtime. It makes for strange dreams. But this chapter on seeing with its vivid color patches and talk of solar wind opened my eyes.

Towards the end of chapter two, Dillard starts to sum up her ideas on seeing.

I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go. The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at tinker creek

Reminds me of the old hymn written by Henry J. Zelley:

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
flooding my soul with glory divine;
hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
singing His praises, Jesus is mine

Heavenly sunlight, Zelley, 1899

How will you rig your sails to catch the solar wind? ❤