Document Type


Publication Date



The term, "come into animal presence," she takes from the title of a Denise Levertov poem. The poem, which reads, in part, "What joy when the insouciant armadillo glances at us and doesn't quicken his trotting across the track into the palm bush. What is this joy?" This joy is the possibility of our being in the presence of animals for "(t)he armadillo has some intention to pursue in the palm forest." This joy, to which I invite you here, consists in dwelling in that presence, in inhabiting that intention, that armored but guileless world of the armadillo. I will attempt to show that it is productive to do so, while recognizing that our dwelling there as in all other presences, whether human-animal, human-human or human-divine, is necessarily imperfect.


In compliance with the publisher’s copyright and archiving policies, this is a post-print version of the document. Post-print materials contain the same content as their final edited versions, but are not formatted according to the layout of the published book or journal.