Jessica Bryant Klagmann

explorations of simplicity, wildness, imagination. and other writerly things.

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on essaying.

Whittier Wettier (109)

The wonderful thing about the word ‘essay’–besides that it’s French–is that it’s a verb. It means to try, to experiment, to endeavor. This is something I keep forgetting, how active it is. How an essay is something we pursue — both writers and readers. A feat akin to scrambling over rocks. And it’s also something that changes shape, needing to be defined every time we begin and redefined continually as we move through it.

The essay escapes mastery. It is, merely, an attempt.


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first words to think on.

“Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”

― Fyodor Dostoevsky