Once I visited a great university and wandered, a stranger, into the subterranean halls of its famous biology department. I saw a sign on the door: ichthyology department. The door was open a crack, and as I walked past I glanced in. I saw just a flash. There were two white-coated men seated opposite each other on high lab stools at a hard-surfaced table. They bent over identical white enamel trays. On one side, one man, with a lancet, was just cutting into an enormous preserved fish he’d taken from a jar. On the other side, the other man, with a silver spoon, was eating a grapefruit. I laughed all the way back to Virginia.
All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.
-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek