Annie Dillard’s Various Ways to Picture Seeing
Different Form of Happiness
Experiencing and seeing different forms of happiness that individuals can experience is also nature’s way of telling about different types of seeing. With the personal experience of happiness of each individual, the seeing will be different and so will be the people’s moods. Keeping the eyes open provides different experiences rather than shutting away from nature. For example, by keeping the eyes wide open, Dillard can see everything then. For Dillard, nature is a puzzle which can be solved by keeping the eyes open and with the firm belief that it can be solved.
This is because she believes one cannot understand and discover without seeing as a prerequisite. If a person is not even seeing and observing silently, a discovery in nature cannot be made.
Something exists but the humans or animal species have not discovered it if they are not closely observing. Dillard says, for example, “when my eyes have adjusted to these dimensions” (p. 5), meaning that nature provides different perspectives and to be able to discover the various dimensions, one needs to “see” clearly. Without seeing, the act of understanding and discovering will be useless as it would only be opinionated and not based on sound judgment. For Dillard, therefore, understanding and discovering would come with empirical observation.