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Therese Miller ENGL 3534 November 16, 2013 Addendum Addendum to nature narrative Seeing is of course very much

a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply wont see it. While I do not completely agree with Annie Dillard in this statement, I do think that verbalization is an important part of interpreting and understanding ones experiences. In my nature narrative I verbalized an experience in nature that changed the way I see the world. While I went to Mexico last year and I had this powerful experience in nature before taking this class, the books that we read helped me draw meaning from this experience because each book helped me to better verbalize my experience. Each book that we have read has been so different and spoken to me in a different way. The two novels that meant the most to me were Ceremony and Refuge because both authors discuss or exemplify the inherit connection between thought and nature. In my own experience nature speaks to me and helps me to realize things I never understood before. McPhees novel also spoke to me in Encounters with an Archdruid. His novel is unique to this course because he is recording the opinions and experiences of others as an objective third party. However, when he does use his own voice, he speaks to the beauty and power of nature which was powerful to me. Silko describes how the sunrise speaks to Tayo saying All things seemed to converge there Yet at that moment in the sunrise, it was all so beautiful, everything, from all directions, evenly, perfectly, balancing day with night, summer months with winter. The valley was enclosing this totality, like the mind holding all thoughts together in a single moment (Silko

220). I related to this experience so much, not in Mexico but every time I watch the sunrise. I was never able to verbalize the feeling that overtook me until reading the way that Silko phrased it. While I may experience the sunrise differently, I am now better able to put my thoughts into words because of how masterfully Silko did so. Similarly, Williams helped me to better understand my relationship with nature by expressing her own. Her relationship with nature, especially the birds is so deeply rooted in her life. She says the birds and I share a natural history. It is a matter of rootedness, of living inside a place for so long that the mind and imagination fuse. Maybe its the sky above and the water below that soothes my soul (21). She speaks to the same type of convergence that Silko does, but she talk about the convergence of her mind and imagination. This idea is one that I had never thought of before but I completely understand. Nature has power in our minds and our minds have power in nature. When things seem to converge in nature our thoughts converge as well. Most realizations I have had in my life have been when I am in nature whether that be on a hike, next to the creek by my house, or on a dormant volcano in Mexico. Its as if God speaks to me through the natural world. Another reason why Williams novel resonated with me so much was because she discussed her faith. To me, my faith and nature are so intertwined it is often hard to separate them. God created nature and the power and beauty of nature shows me the tangible beauty and power of God. She believes in nature and prays to the birds because God lives in both. God also teaches us and speaks to us through nature. She says Its strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages, because you learn humility. I believe in living in land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a

testament to spirits that have moved on There is no place to hide so we are found (148). I experienced something like this in Mexico but in a completely different setting. I believed in the mountains because they taught me humility because when you stand on the mountain you understand how small you are when the world lies before you. The landscape also reminded me of what I truly valued when everything unimportant was stripped away. She says There is no place to hide so we are found. This resonated with me because I did find myself on that mountain. I could not hide from nature; it surrounded me everywhere I went. When I was able to allow nature to consume me, I found myself. Surprisingly, McPhees novel inspired me as well. I did enjoy the novel but he spoke more to the political aspect of nature while my experience with nature has been more personal. I learned a lot from this novel which I can now carry with me for the rest of my life and will affect how I see human relationships with nature. He also discusses freedom in nature which is what I focused on in my paper. He says It was Earth in something close to its original state no one was ever to be as free on that wild beach in the future as we had been that day (150). Without consciously knowing it at the time, this line inspired the theme of my paper. As I read the book, I liked this phrase and I underlined it but I did not stop at the moment I read it and rethink my experience in Mexico and decide that is what I would write my paper on. Rather this line sat in my subconscious until I started to write my paper and meditate on my experience in Mexico. This shows the opposite of the idea of convergence because rather than all my thoughts coming together the instant I read the line, they came together gradually.

The reason I said I did not completely Annie Dillards statement is because, while verbalization is important, so much in this world cannot be put into words. My narrative does not do my experience justice because it was so powerful no words could possibly explain the divine feelings that overcame me. Just as with each of the authors we have read this semester, Im sure that so much of how they felt about their experiences are hidden between the lines of their books rather than in the words we read.