Here's something she says to which I powerfully, viscerally, connect: "I seem to know by intuition a great deal that I cannot find words for, and to enlarge the field of my intuition every time I fail again to find these words. That is to say, the unnamed is overwhelmingly present and real for me."
I feel this way all the time now--overwhelmed and thus tremulous and fragile in the world--but also floating on a sea of awe, my natural home. Since there is so much I sense but cannot articulate to others, I sometimes feel adrift (see iceberg), disconnected from the major land mass, endangered, and, perhaps, perceived as dangerous (again, see iceberg), but I am not intending to wreck any ships, and, by the way, I am in the process of melting.
I, too, belong in her community. "I love the writers of my thousand books," says Robinson:
"It pleases me to think how astonished old Homer, whoever he was, would be to find his epics on the shelf of such an unimaginable being as myself, in the middle of an unrumored continent. I love the large minority of writers of the writers on my shelves who have struggled with words and thoughts and, by my lights, have lost the struggle. All together they are my community, the creators of the very idea of books, poetry, and extended narratives, and of the amazing human conversation that has taken place across millennia, through weal and woe, over the heads of interest and utility."
In the context of the essay, "interest and utility" cover the day-to-day practicalities, commerce, self interest, and such small-group interests of politics and business as usual that have contributed to "[t]he cultural disaster called 'dumbing down,' which swept through every significant American institution and grossly impoverished civic and religious life, [and which] was and is the result of the obsessive devaluing of the lives that happen to pass on this swath of continent." If, for example, education is seen only as the creation of workers, we have devalued education and also ourselves. It makes me sad. I feel, in my gut, the woe.
But then I read, I laugh, and I am inspired again. (I'd like to show you an image of Homer Simpson here, saying, "D'oh!" but I don't own the copyright.)