Dust and more dust and Annie Dillard

Recent mornings, as I get into the car, I notice the back window is covered by a gathering layer of fine dust. Stuck in traffic I notice all those others who, like me don’t wash their cars too often, have the same layer. I guess it’s the infernal volcanic dust all the way from Iceland, falling on my car. Extraordinary that, when you stop to think about it.

It reminded me of something I read in Annie Dillard’s ‘For the Time Being‘ many years ago, so I went and hunted it out again and spent a pleasant evening re-reading some of its wonders. It is a terrific collection of reflections on things like birth defects, Talmudic prayers, China, clouds, encounters, evil, huge numbers and SAND. A great read.

She writes,

earth sifts over things. If you stay still, earth buries you, ready or not.The debris on the tops of your feet or shoes thickens, windblown dirt piles around it, and pretty soon your feet are underground..Micrometeorite dust can bury you, too, if you wait: a ton falls on earth every hour.

Quick: Why aren’t you dusting? On every continent, we sweep floors and wipe tabletops not only to shine the place, but to forestall burial.

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