Darkness appalls and light dazzles; the scrap of visible light that doesn’t hurt my eyes hurts my brain. What I see sets me swaying. Size and distance and the sudden swelling of meanings confuse me, bowl me over. I straddle the sycamore log bridge over Tinker Creek in the summer. I look at the lighted creek bottom: snail tracks tunnel the mud in quavering curves. A crayfish jerks, but by the time I absorb what has happened, he’s gone in a billowing smokescreen of silt. I look at the water: minnows and shiners. If I’m thinking minnows, a carp will fill my brain till I scream. I look at the water’s surface: skaters, bubbles, and leaves sliding down. Suddenly, my own face, reflected, startles me witless. Those snails have been tracking my face! Finally, with a shuddering wrench of the will, I see clouds, cirrus clouds. I’m dizzy, I fall in. This looking business is risky.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek