Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to

"At first, in the good old days, I did not know how to split wood. I set a chunk of alder on the choppint block and harassed it, at enormous exertion, into tiny wedges that flew all over the sandflat and lost themselves. What I did was less splitting wood than chipping flints. After a few whacks my alder chunk still stood serene and unmoved, its base untouched, it's tip a thorn. And then I actually tried to turn the sorry thing over and balance it on its wee head while I tried to chop its fee off before it feel over. God save us...

"One night, while all this had been going on, I had a dream in which I was given to understand, by the powers that be, how to split wood. You aim, said the dream--of course!--at the chopping block. It is true. You aim at the chopping bock, not at the wood; then you split the wood, instead of chipping it."
--Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

1 comment:

Anne-Michelle said...

that is lovely.

i am currently aiming at the wood of my grant application. but the chopping block is... completely absent. plus, i don't have an axe, i have, like... a blunt feather. grrrrrr.