Weekend Program at
La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
22500 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS.
January 21-22, 2016
Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a classic of American nature writing & contemporary spirituality. It has become a much-loved work & often appears in “top-100” book lists. In it, Dillard poses profound questions about nature, life, death, sensation, experience, meaning, truth, mystery, joy, horror, beauty, suffering, the sacred & the absurd. Her work is most deeply inspired by Christian mysticism & by great nature writers like Thoreau, but she also draws on Asian & indigenous traditions.
We will read & discuss brief selections from the book, and reflect on and respond creatively to the readings and discussions. A PDF of readings will be sent to participants, along with basic information about the program. Everyone is asked to read 6 short selections from the text (about 12 pages each) and to record their responses. Each session will begin with comments & questions from the group. Our time will be divided between discussion sessions & periods of walking, reflection & creation. Saturday evening, we will view & discuss a film, followed by a bonfire on the slope above the cabin. Sunday will conclude with brief presentations and discussions of the creative work (writing, art, music) that the participants have done over the weekend.
The program will be held at La Terre Institute, on 87 wooded acres on Bayou La Terre, near Dedeaux, MS. It is 67 miles (70 min.) from New Orleans. Participants should bring food, tents, personal items & flashlights. We will supply food for group meals & have some room for participants in the house & cabin. There is no cost for the program. Donations are appreciated but not expected. Participants are welcome to volunteer for trail work, building & other projects, for program planning and publicity, and to teach, coteach or facilitate future programs. There will be no work projects during the weekend program.
Maximum registration for the program will be eighteen. Please register as soon as possible, but only if you are confident that you can participate on the scheduled weekend, you will read the assigned readings before we discuss them & you will be present for the entire program, from Noon Saturday until 6:00 Sunday. If you cannot be part of the group for this entire time, please do not register. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information & to register.
Noon Program begins
Noon-1:00 Lunch and Orientation
1:00-2:00 Session 1: “Heaven and Earth in Jest” (3-15)
2:00-3:00 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
3:00-4:00 Session 2: “The Present” (78-91)
4:00-5:00 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
5:00-6:00 Session 3: “The Present” (91-104)
6:00-9:00 Dinner, Film & Discussion
9:00-10:00 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
10:00-11:00 Session 4: “Intricacy” (136-148)