A WRITER'S WIT
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
Born February 18, 1931
What a Childhood, What a Writer!
In this memoir, author Annie Dillard recalls the freedom she was given as a child. Is this childhood lived in 1940s and 50s, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the sort of childhood that helps create artists? From her book I developed the following tenet: Parents who allow their children to be their own person have no equal:
“I had essentially been handed my own life. In subsequent years my parents would praise my drawings and poems, supply me with books, art supplies, and sports equipment, and listen to my troubles and enthusiasms, and supervise my hours, and discuss and inform, but they would not get involved with my detective work, nor hear about my reading, nor inquire about my homework or term papers or exams, nor visit the salamanders I caught, nor listen to me play the piano, nor attend my field hockey games, nor fuss over my insect collection with me, or my poetry collection or stamp collection or rock collection. My days and nights were my own to plan and fill” (149).
“‘You stupid kids,’ he began perfunctorily.
“We listened perfunctorily indeed, if we listened at all, for the chewing out was redundant, a mere formality, and beside the point. The point was that he had chased us passionately without giving up, and so he had caught us. Now he came down to earth. I wanted the glory to last forever.
“But how could the glory have lasted forever? We could have run through every backyard in North American until we got to Panama. But when he trapped us at the lip of the Panama Canal, what precisely could he have done to prolong the drama of the chase and cap its glory?” (48).
WEDNESDAY: A PHOTO AND A SHORT ESSAY