Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - A response journal
Created for TeachersFirst by Brenda Walton, Ed.D.
Early on in the book, Dillard locates herself at the creek...
"I live by a creek, Tinker Creek, in a valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge. An anchorite's hermitage is called an anchor-hold; some anchor holds were simple sheds clamped to the side of a church like a barnacle to a rock. I think of this house clamped to the side of Tinker Creek as an anchor hold. It holds me at anchor to the rock bottom of the creek itself and it keeps me steadied in the current, as sea anchor does, facing the stream of light poring down. It's a good place to live; there's a lot to think about." p.4
This, you will find, dear reader, is an understatement! Throughout the book you will be privileged to share in Dillard's thoughts, meanderings, tangents, comments, and poetic responses to the natural world around her.
Chapter One: Heaven and Earth in Jest
Written response #1 -- Personal response to Dillard's writing (250-500+ words)
Written response #2 -- Personal response to related research
Find a website on any aspect of nature. Scroll, meander, wander, saunter
On pages 7-8 Dillard relates one of the most astounding descriptions in the book-- the incident of the "frog's fatal encounter with the giant water bug." She writes:
In this chapter, Dillard ponders the mysteries of pain, death and fear in nature. The title of the chapter is clarified as Dillard tells us, "In the Koran, Allah asks, "The heaven and earth and all in between, thinkest thou I made them in jest?"
Written response # 3 Personal response to Dillard's writing (250 words)
What do you make of this first chapter? How do you react to Dillard's first focus on nature. You might consider her phrasing as she describes on page 10 her sighting of the sharks'... "...power and beauty, grace tangled in a rapture with violence."