Revisiting Annie Dillard's "Sojourner"

Revisiting Annie Dillard's "Sojourner"

It hit me that I read “Sojourner” much too young.
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When I was a sophomore in high school, I read “Sojourner” by Annie Dillard. It's also critical to this article to note that I was exceptionally headstrong in my sophomore year of high school, so much so that I fought against everything I heard just because I could. So when I read Dillard's essay, I couldn’t move past her idea that we are all mangrove trees, floating and unmoored.

I wrote so passionately against this concept, claiming that I was not a mangrove tree, that I was rooted in myself and what I believed in. To exactly quote myself circa 2014, “I am not a mangrove, despite whatever metaphors Dillard uses. I do not drift or float through life like those oasis trees; I’m firmly rooted and assured in everything I have and say and do.”

This year, I realized that my claims aligned more with what Dillard claimed than I had always thought: mangrove trees are rooted within themselves and their own island. The key thing that I missed understanding is just as they are each adrift on their own individual island, so are we all. More simply put, it has taken me four years to understand the accuracy of Dillard’s metaphor. As I’ve come to realize about the majority of texts I read in high school, it hit me that I read “Sojourner” much too young. I read it at an age when I wore Uggs with leggings and an oversized sweatshirt and thought I was fashionable; I read it at an age when I knew nothing about the world and even less about myself and was asked to reflect on how I saw both within the text.

I was sitting in a study room this past semester, restless and uneasy over this odd melancholic feeling I hadn’t been able to shake all day. As the evening settled on my view of the Atlanta skyline (very poetically, I’ll admit), I suddenly thought of the mangrove trees. More importantly, I realized how relevant Dillard's words had become in my life: I am now settled into a place where I accept myself and my place in the universe as ever-changing and expanding. I don’t know the Me from two years ago, let alone the Me from sophomore year of high school; I don’t have a single clue who I’ll become in ten years time. Just like a mangrove tree, I am adrift in the world.

But there was another critical element to Dillard's metaphor that I finally understand: we're never truly alone. Just as there will always be other mangrove trees drifting alongside one another, just as there will always be new trees growing on to each island as the seeds spread, just as there will always be trees who bump in just the right way that their roots entwine, so too will there be friends and loved ones sailing around our islands, becoming one with our lives.

Each individual is onto themselves their own body of land, expanding or shrinking or sinking or changing. It is always the one mangrove tree broken from the larger shore that is left to expand or wither away on its own, but not any more so than how we see ourselves as the protagonists and narrators of our own lives.

In growing up, so many gain a more pessimistic outlook on the world around us and the lives we live. If the younger me still needs something to stand against, it should be that. Growth and change are not the enemies: as Dillard herself states,

"A mangrove island turns drift to dance. It creates its own soil as it goes rocking over the salt sea at random, rocking day and night and round the sun, rocking round the sun and out toward east of Hercules."

Everyone could be going absolutely anywhere in this universe as we move and grow and change, but at least we're going somewhere; at least we're not going alone.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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11 Songs That I Haven't Been Able To Get Out Of My Head, And You Won't, Either

Finals is coming and these are the songs I keep on repeat.

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1. "Goodbye Again" by Vertical Horizon

2. "Slip The Noose" by The Maine

3. "Cool" by The Jonas Brothers

4. "Broken Horse" by Freelance Whales

5. "Street Map" by Athlete

6. "All Eternal Things" by Trembling Blue Stars

7. "Don't Cry" by Emarosa

8. "Turn My Back" by Mayday Parade

9. "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot

10. "It's Tricky" by Run DMC

11. "Kiss Quick" by Matt Nathanson

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