Your Questions About For Those In Peril On The Sea

December 29, 2013

David asks…

Where can I find the summary for teaching a stone to talk by annie dillard?

I need like spark notes or cliff notes for the book Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dilard. Spark notes and cliff notes does not have them. I need help ASAP

admin answers:

The best I can find is a review:

Expeditions and Encounters
By Annie Dillard.
Ot many people, it’s safe to say, care to look a weasel in the eye. Or to sit in an Ecuadorean jungle on the banks of the Napo River idly studying a tarantula the size of one’s hand as it seizes moths. Or to stroke a giant tortoise’s neck in the Galapagos islands, with a friendly sea lion settling to sleep on one’s arm. But it’s fascinating to watch Annie Dillard doing so, especially if one is familiar with her through her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, ”Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” and knows her capacity for living, as she says, ”in tranquility and trembling” among the wonders and splendors of the world.

Tinker Creek is in a valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives, not only as a pilgrim but with a message. Her introductory note to this volume warns that it is not to be considered a random collection of expeditions and encounters: ”Instead this is my real work, such as it is.” She preaches Thoreau’s doctrine and her own – ”Do what you love” – and like Thoreau she takes pains to clarify how that is done, how passionately she loves what she is about. A weasel lives as he’s meant to, and the principle is the same for all, though it would take enormous energy and curiosity as well as clear thinking to live as Annie Dillard does. She makes it sound like a profitable enterprise.

The title, ”Teaching a Stone to Talk,” explains something of her method. A man whom she knows, in his 30′s, living alone in a shack on a cliff, keeps a palm-sized oval beach cobble on his shelf and performs a ritual several times a day to try to teach it to talk, which she thinks beats selling shoes. She doesn’t know what he expects or wants the stone to say – maybe a single word like ”uncle.” For her, what it eloquently speaks is silence, nature’s silence, which we are here on this earth to witness. ”That is why I take walks: to keep an eye on things. And that is why I went to the Galapagos islands.”

She went twice, in fact, the second time to look more closely at the palo santo trees, holy trees – silent, mute, lifeless and covered with lichens. She also went to Barter Island inside the Arctic Circle, where all she could see was colorless sky and a mess of frozen ice. And she goes back in memory to a farm where she once lived alone, where the silence was heaped in the pastures, on the fields, where there was only silence, and it ”gathered and struck me. It bashed me broadside from the heavens above.” She has a taste for cosmic silence. She likes to look through binoculars at mirages, to confirm them for what they are, illusory, to sharpen the vision and mystery. Since we’re on the planet only once, she says, we might as well get a feel for the place. ”I alternate between thinking of the planet as home – dear and familiar stone hearth and garden – and as a hard land of exile in which we are all sojourners.” The taking of these extraordinary expeditions, which is Annie Dillard’s lifework, occasionally has its perils. Once she was present at a total eclipse of the sun and lived to tell the tale. Early one February morning she and her husband drove to a hilltop in the state of Washington near Yakima to watch the miracle. Many people were about, bundled up in caps and parkas. ”It looked as though we were scattered on hilltops at dawn to sacrifice virgins, make rain, set stone stelae in a ring.” Then the light went out, and from the hills on all sides came screams. Fervently she prays that she, that you and I, may never see anything more awful in the sky. It was a near thing, as if the people had died on the hilltops of Yakima and were alone in eternity. Afterward, the two of them with a sigh of relief rushed down the hill and thankfully escaped to a breakfast of fried eggs. Enough of this sort of glory is enough.

There is the haunting memory of her encounter with Santa Claus, when on a Christmas Eve in childhood she heard a commotion at the front door, and before her eyes in full fig he stood, ringing a loud bell, whom she had no ambition whatever to meet. She thought Santa Claus was God and ran for her life upstairs, refusing to come down. Actually it was only a well-intentioned old lady, a Miss White, who lived across the street and meant no harm. Annie Dillard ran that night out of fear, and she is running still. ”Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a package tour of the Absolute?” she asks. We should be wearing crash helmets and life preservers. In the Catholic church she now attends is a singing group that calls itself ”Wildflowers” – a teen-aged boy, an old woman with long orange hair, a large Chinese who shuffles his feet, a frail 14-year-old, a wispy soprano – equipped with guitars and tambourine. After a fiercely anti-Catholic upbringing, she attends mass to escape Protestant guitars, and this is what happens. She listens and laughs all the way home; God, being almighty, can stifle His laughter.

So it goes at Tinker Creek and elsewhere on the planet. She is a fine wayfarer, one who travels light, reflective and alert to the shrines and holy places after first carefully selecting them for herself. She sets out again and again, seeking other landscapes, other encounters. Or she stays at home, thriving and surviving, no more scared than anybody. ”I have not been lonely yet,” she says, ”but it could come at any time.”

Just out of curiosity, I went to the web site offered by the first answerer – I didn’t find any help there at all.

Lizzie asks…

How can an offence be “impossible” yet exist?

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” (Luke 17:1) Love – D

admin answers:

A. Concerning the Peril of Offending (Luke 17:1, 2)
The continuity or flow of thought in this chapter is obscure. It almost seems as if Luke pieces together several disconnected subjects. However, Christ’s opening remarks on the peril of offending may be linked with the story of the rich man at the close of chapter 16. To live in luxury, complacency, and ease could very well prove to be a stumblingblock to others who are young in the faith. Especially if a man has the reputation of being a Christian, his example will be followed by others. How serious it is to thus lead promising followers of the Lord Jesus Christ into lives of materialism and the worship of mammon.
Of course, the principle applies in a very general way. Little ones can be stumbled by being encouraged in worldliness. They can be stumbled by being involved in sexual sin. They can be stumbled by any teaching that waters down the plain meaning of the Scriptures. Anything that leads them away from a pathway of simple faith, of devotedness, and of holiness is a stumbling block.
Knowing human nature and conditions in the world, the Lord said that it was inevitable that offenses should come. But this does not diminish the guilt of those who cause the offenses. It would be better for such that a millstone were hung around their neck, and that they were drowned in the depths of the sea. It seems clear that language as strong as this is intended to picture not only physical death but eternal condemnation as well.
When the Lord Jesus speaks of offending one of these little ones, He probably included more than children. The reference also seems to be to disciples who are young in the faith.

Luk 17:1-2 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! (2) It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Laura asks…

Why do extreme anglers demote commercial fisheries?

Who has the right to eat fish, just anglers, or does everybody? We are aware of the debate on commercial fishing. We need it for food supply and economies. It is a great food made better by a deliciously tangy fish batter. search chiblowfish .

admin answers:

Our environment has changed drastically, and there are factors affecting our fish stocks now, like at no other time in history….And fishing has changed also…There was a time, when anyone who wanted could go to sea, and catch by any means a few hundred, to maybe a thousand pounds of fish to sell and eat…Now, with all the modern technology, and higher demand on the resource for food, one boat can catch 100,000 pounds on a trip…We have gotten so efficient, that we can catch them faster than they can reproduce….Or we “target” a species, and deplete it to where the entire food chain the the ocean is in jeopardy. If we continue to remove fish from the ocean at the rate we are now…The fish stocks will collapse, and the ocean will be damaged forever….and the entire planet will be in peril….I am not against commercial fishing, but I am in favor of regulating it to protect our fish stocks from collapse…..

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