I am rather tired tonight after a long day and decided during Adoration tonight that I should share my experiences with the world, or at least who reads this pretty lame blog of mine. This is my final english essay for my introductory college english class. We were told to compare a personal experience to Annie Dillard’s Living Like Weasels, a “a-ha” moment. The essay is kind of long, but it is unedited (Including grammar) from the moment I submitted it. The reason I sharing this particular essay of mine is because it both contains a personal revelation from what I believe to be God and the set of events that let to me attending Spring Hill College.
Here is a link to the Living Like Weasels in case you are interested in reading the text.
Living Like Weasels: Final English Essay
Sometimes throughout the daily regiment of life people are struck with a special “a-ha” moment, a mental spark of sorts. This moment is often random and subtle, but is like a small spark hitting a pack of TNT because it creates an explosion of thought. Annie Dillard writes about her experiences in her essay “Living like Weasels”, which revolutionized her mindset on certain aspects of her life. My similar experience was subtle too, it happened during my last school mass at McGill Toolen and transformed my way of thinking about the events around me. Both are experiences are different, but in that moment of a mental firestorm we both learned to give up part of ourselves and grasp something like a weasel and never let it go.
The mental spark that affected my current mindset occurred about six months ago, during my last high school mass at McGill Toolen. That day my entire class assembled for mass and I looked about the area in a kind of remorseful reflection about my past, presents, and future. I nervous that I was not prepared for college, I apprehensive about leaving my school that day, and I was anxious about my academic future. Amongst all of this worrying a strange disposition came upon me as I marched up the isle to receive communion. Upon clasping the host I was struck by a curious vision of sorts about all the events in my life being connected by a single strand of unity: my religion. At the time is was a disturbing vision because I had never experience anything like it, such a mental revelation in but a few moments was overwhelming. The rest of the mass I pondered what had happened to me, but eventually pushed it out of my mind long enough to be swept away in the fervor of graduating with my class. After the ceremonies I went to all of the functions and bid farewell to all those friends I had acquired over the four years. This vision did not prey upon my mind again until I was on the ride home and there it attacked my subconscious like an angry badger defender her young, ravaging its way through my heart in a wild attempt to survive. To say the least this mental anguish soured my mood, and I ended up quarrelling with my parents about me having to attend the University of South Alabama as opposed to Auburn University. That night everyone in my family fell asleep, but I stayed up and wrote my mother a letter of apology. After a grueling hour of putting that vision in perspective I completed the letter and positioned it in an area that I thought it would be best received, my mother’s wardrobe. I woke up the next morning, expecting another fight, but discovered that my mother was not furious. She had read the letter and pulled out of it the underlining meaning that had completely missed: I was unhappy about South Alabama because of the community. We determined, despite my prior reluctance to attend due to the cost, that Spring Hill College (Originally my second college pick) was my best choice because of its underlying community and religious ties. About two hours later we were on the phone with Jonathan Strickland about the possibility of attending and thanks to the charity of the dean I was able to attend. This vision, this moment of divine revelation, is how I eventually ended up at Spring Hill College.
Although my experience is significantly different from Annie Dillard’s and had real-world consequences, I do believe that they are similar enough that we both learned something about ourselves. First off, we both learned we were unsatisfied with our station in life, me with my college choice and Annie Dillard with her outset on life. She writes, “I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. I come to Hollins Pond not so much how to live as, frankly, to forget about it” (Dillard, 2). Dillad’s own experience is about learning to be a more little mindless about the things dear to her, “[..]I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical sense and the dignity of life without bias or motive” (Dillard, 2). For me, the dear thing I my religion, the religion I saw reflected one hundred times throughout the course of my path in my vision. We both learned that there is something special in letting things pass, allowing what is truly important to us overcome everything else until is almost an instinct. Despite knowing well enough that Spring Hill College was not an engineering college I went against the logical half of my brain, and allowed my desires to overwhelm me for that time. Annie Dillard writes, “I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your necessity and not let it go” (Dillard, 3). I myself grasped hold to my necessity when I agreed to attend Spring Hill College, I allowed myself to give up a little in exchange for so much. I believe that my vision was a little guidance from God, to a place where I would be happy.
Today I grasp this notion of God as a guiding force of my life every day now and find myself enjoying Spring Hill College more than I ever thought possible. By giving up on my dream of being an engineer I have allowed myself to live more freely and explore new possibilities. I grasp Spring Hill College, for it is my necessity, with all of my heart now as I grow as a person everyday that I am here. As Annie Dillard writes:
Seize it [SHC] and let it [SHC] seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your every bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtlessly, from any height at all, from as high eagles (Dillard,3).