Now-you-don’t-see-it, now-you-do.


Unfortunately, nature is very much a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t affair. A fish flashes, then dissolves in the water before my eyes like so much salt. Deer apparently ascend bodily into heaven; the brightest oriole fades into leaves. These disappearances stun me into stillness and concentration; they say of nature that it conceals with a grand nonchalance, and they say of vision that it is a deliberate gift, the revelation of a dancer who for my eyes only flings away her seven veils. For nature does reveal as well as conceal: now-you-don’t-see-it, now-you-do.

~ Annie Dillard, Seeing. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. (HarperCollins. 2009)

Credits: Lamp: ronbeckdesigns – “Perch Light :: Umut Yamac” via Your Eyes Blaze Out



  1. This was the PERFECT read (albeit out of order) after the NPR short..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Laughing…WMS. I thought the EXACT same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Smiling. Learnt some of this the hard way – still enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that Nature is so sly. She wants us to pay attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She certainly does. Your comment reminds me of:

      “They’d say things like God is everywhere, that He’s in all things. So that meant He was also inside a door or a table, or in the plants. And I thought that all these things were watching me. And He was probably even inside me since I’m material as well, so He was probably watching me from the inside, too. That was uncanny. And very frightening. When you’re a child, it can be very scary if you take those things seriously. It feels like a threat. So no matter what I was doing—peeling a potato, for instance—I always thought that God was watching me. And I always wondered, Does He approve? Am I peeling it the right way? Or when I was doing chores—every weekend I had to clean the whole house and was supposed to mop the floor twice, first wet and then dry. But since my mother was at work and my grandparents were somewhere in the garden and no one could see me, I could have easily cut corners and only done it once. But I was always afraid that God would see me. And that He knew everything. And that He’d do something to me or somehow let my mother know. Who knew what might happen.

      Another thing they said in church was that dead people were in heaven. So I looked up and that’s what I saw. I looked at the clouds and thought I saw a man or a woman who’d lived nearby, that they were running back and forth, that God was moving them this way and that. Or in the church, during Communion, when the priest talked about the blood of Christ and the body of Christ, and then he’d drink his wine—I thought that was completely crazy. Because I had to butcher chickens once or twice a week, and I’d seen plenty of blood, and as far as I was concerned it was nothing like the wine the priest was drinking. And now and then I’d go inside the church and there’d be a giant plaster statue of the Holy Virgin Mother Mary on the altar, and she was wearing a light blue mantle, and her heart was on the outside, on top of her dress. One time I was there with my grandmother, and I told her that Mary’s heart was a watermelon that had been cut open, because the drops of blood were black like watermelon seeds.”

      – Herta Muller, “The Art of Fiction No, 225,” Paris Review.


  5. That reminds me of a story one of my teachers told us in Catholic school. There is a hymn that goes “…eat His body, drink His blood”, in reference to the body and blood of Christ. When the Catholic missionaries would try to convert cannibals, the cannibals couldn’t understand why it was o.k. to eat Christ when it wasn’t o.k. to eat Mr. Smith down the road. Well, duh!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. all about vision as your theme for you today, dk. here and gone and here once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WHERE do you get these pictures? I feel like a puppy dog following you around, picking up more blog ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

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