Teaching a Stone to Talk

In this post I have but one goal – to explore the meaning behind “teaching a stone to talk.” To begin, the occupation of teaching a stone to talk is, in Dillard’s eyes, a noble one. And the way she explains it, it really is. Dillard claims that teaching a stone to talk is a hopeless (although laudable) attempt to extract something audible from nature. As it stands, the natural world does naught but deafen us with its incessant silence. How are we to interact given these circumstances? Well, heaven knows that we try. While we may not all try chatting with rocks, we do, “Spy on whales and on interstellar radio objects; we starve ourselves and pray till we’re blue,” in our own desperate attempts to elicit a response from God, nature, or anything really. We yearn for something to prove that we are not unique in our existence. Although, thinking now, I can’t help but wonder if it’s not that nature isn’t speaking, but that we are not listening. Even the loudest shouts are rendered useless if they fall on deaf ears.


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