You are a cholorplast moving in water heaved one hundred feet above ground. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen in a ring around magnesium . . . You are evolution; you have only begun to make trees. You are God--are you tired? finished?
Dillard writes a series of passages like this one. You are God. You are a man. You are a starling. You are a sculptor. You are a choloroplast. It's all about creation and transformation and evolution. One thing turning into something else. Dillard is fascinated by this process.
I am not feeling very creative tonight. I just spent three hours typing up lecture notes on 2001: A Space Odyssey for my online film class. Tomorrow night, it's Toy Story. Then a quiz and a discussion forum to post. I suppose there's a modicum of creativity in all that work. But, it's not about transformation. It's about translating what's in my head into something coherent and understandable. Not inspiring, but informative.
My wife is working tonight, so I'm on my own with my kids. My daughter is self-sufficient; she stays in her room and talks to her friends on her phone and plays video games. My son, on the other hand, requires a little more effort. He's going to try anything and everything to stay up as late as he can. It'll start with "I'm hungry." Then "I want to play with Connor." Then "I want to watch Pokemon." My son is infinitely creative when it comes to avoiding bedtime.
It will be a good night. I will give in a little. Let him watch America's Got Talent for a while. Maybe eat some cheese cubes and crackers. It's summer. Eighty degrees at eight o'clock at night. The sun won't go down until after ten. I remember what it was like to be his age, out of school, full of energy and imagination. I wanted to dig up dinosaurs in the backyard. Communicate with visitors from outer space. See ghosts flying across the moon. Write books with beautiful pictures. I remember that feeling that I could be anything.
.Even a saint. All it takes is imagination, creation, transformation, and evolution.