Annie Dillard's "Seeing": Importance of How We See the World We Live in

Topics: Perception, Sense, Understanding Pages: 2 (1474 words) Published: April 13, 2015
Seeing

Annie Dillard's "Seeing" explains her view of the importance of how we see the world in which we live, she discusses the ideas of natural and artificial obvious, how light and darkness affect what we perceive, and how even knowledge effects what we see. Her central focus being that how we choose to view our world can bring us greater happiness and understanding if we choose to enjoy the small things around us, but in order to do so we need to be willing to look hard and deep and not just at nature but everything that is around us.

Dillard's essay starts out with discussing the value that can be found in something as simple as a penny. As a child she would find a penny and then re-hide it in a crack in the cement or the roots of a tree, and then went home taking joy hoping that someone would stumble upon it and be just as delighted as she was. A penny has almost no value yet if we can find value in something so small we will be rich indeed "But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days" (Dillard 40). In comparison she later discussed seeing birds and how they were like "free gifts, the bright coppers at the root of a tree" (Dillard 41), basically she was comparing the birds or even nature in general to the penny, nature may be so much more vast than a penny but if you don't really look hard enough you completely miss out on everything that is around you. There are so many facets to nature, big and small, and it is just as much of a gift as finding a penny hidden in the cracks of a sidewalk when you do finally see it. I found a lot of beauty in those simple statements, we see birds and pennies every day, I'm sure, but how often do we simply stop and see value in the small and common things around us? Dillard simply meant that if we look hard enough for the smallest of details we will...
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