Well and Proper and Obedient and Pure

by anna

In case you’re wondering, the title of this blog comes from an essay by Annie Dillard called Living Like Weasels. It should of course be read in its entirety, but here are a couple passages:

And once, says Ernest Thompson Seton–once, a man shot an eagle out of the sky. He examined the eagle and found the dry skull of a weasel fixed by the jaws to his throat. The supposition is that the eagle had pounced on the weasel and the weasel swiveled and bit as instinct taught him, tooth to neck, and nearly won.


I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you’re going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles.

If you know me IRL and have ever wondered about my tattoo, this is as close to an explanation as I can get. I’ve considered sending a picture of it to Annie Dillard, but she would probably think it was weird.

tattoo and hyperextended elbow