Saturday, July 28, 2007
A girlfriend of mine tells the story of Annie Dillard coming to teach a course at her university. How she desperately wanted to gain admission to her class. How, failing that, she landed a gig as Annie Dillard's nanny for the summer.
Even better: She'd have the master at hand, could learn from her, share coffee and wisdom at the kitchen table, snatch up the crumbs as they fell.
And then: arriving she found Dillard and her husband in the early stages of their divorce, and Dillard was soon gone from the house.
The job didn't pan out as she hoped, and given her story I've always thought of Dillard as somone remote and far away. Untouchable. Inaccessible.
That changed this morning when I heard Dillard give an interview on NPR. She sounded grizzled, curmudgeonly, wise. Not icy at all, but warm like a dame waking up over a cup of coffee, darkly humorous and as old as the hills.
This was that kitchen table. At last. (You can listen to it here -- skip to the end for the good stuff »)