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Life without sacrifice

When the candle is burning, who looks at the wick? When the candle is out, who needs it? But the world without light is wasteland and chaos, and a life without sacrifice is abomination. What can any artist set on fire but his world? What can any people bring to the altar but all it has ever owned in the thin towns or over the desolate plains? What can an artist use but materials, such as they are? What can he light but the short string of his gut, and when that’s burnt out, any muck ready at hand?”

– Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


  1. Dave Oltrogge

    I like Annie Dillard, but I don’t think I’ve seen this one. Have you read her ‘Teaching a Stone to Talk’?

  2. tjh

    I haven’t read Teaching a Stone to Talk yet, but I’d love to. This was my first book of Dillard’s.

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