Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 100 Barbara Kingsolver Quotes

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1.“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

2.“Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.”

3.“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.”

4.“When we traded homemaking for careers, we were implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families’ tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable.”

5.“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”

6.“But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after – oh, that’s love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she’s gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She’s the one you can’t put down.”

7.“The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.”

8.“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”

9.“She kept swimming out into life because she hadn’t yet found a rock to stand on.”

10.“Solitude is a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot, a tug of impalpable thread on the web pulling mate to mate and predator to prey, a beginning or an end. Every choice is a world made new for the chosen.”

11.“Everything you’re sure is right can be wrong in another place.”

12.“It’s frightening when things you love appear suddenly changed from what you have always known.”

13.“But kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”

14.“A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had.But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.”

15.“Listen. Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember.”

16.“There were two things about Mama. One is she always expected the best out of me. And the other is that then no matter what I did, whatever I came home with, she acted like it was the moon I had just hung up in the sky and plugged in all the stars. Like I was that good.”

17.“I’ve seen how you can’t learn anything when you’re trying to look like the smartest person in the room.”

18.“Silence has many advantages. When you do not speak, other people presume you to be deaf or feeble-minded and promptly make a show of their own limitations.”

19.“Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I’ve only found sorrow.”

20.“If we can’t, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.”

21.“God doesn’t need to punish us. He just grants us a long enough life to punish ourselves.”

22.“No other continent has endured such an unspeakably bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill.”

23.“What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.”

24.“Sugar, it’s no parade but you’ll get down the street one way or another, so you’d just as well throw your shoulders back and pick up the pace.”

25.“I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book.”

26.“The truth needs so little rehearsal.”

27.“The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.”

28.“How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.”

29.“A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after–oh, that’ s love by a different name.”

30.“Emelina and I took each other in. All morning I’d felt the strange disjuncture that comes from reconnecting with your past. There’s such a gulf between yourself and who you were then, but people speak to that other person and it answers; it’s like having a stranger as a house guest in your skin.”

31.“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

32.“But I’ve swallowed my pride before, that’s for sure. I’m practically lined with my mistakes on the inside like a bad-wallpapered bathroom.”

33.“The power is in the balance: we are our injuries, as much as we are our successes.”

34.“Memories do not always soften with time; some grow edges like knives.”

35.“There is a strange moment in time, after something horrible happens, when you know it’s true, but you haven’t told anyone yet.”

36.“Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side.”

37.“As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me like a swimmer’s long hair in water. I knew the weight was there but it didn’t touch me. Only when I stopped did the slick, dark stuff of it come floating around my face, catching my arms and throat till I began to drown. So I just didn’t stop.”

38.“To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.”

39.“A mother’s body remembers her babies-the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has it’s own entreaties to body and soul.”

40.“I lost a child,” she said, meeting Lusa’s eyes directly. “I thought I wouldn’t live through it. But you do. You learn to love the place somebody leaves behind for you.”

41.“In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can.”

42.“Your dreams, what you hope for and all that, it’s not separate from your life. It grows right up out of it. ”

43.“Misunderstanding is my cornerstone. It’s everyone’s, come to think of it. Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet.”

44.“If you never stepped on anybody’s toes, you never been for a walk.”

45.“What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, ‘What life can I live that will let me breathe in & out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?”

46.“At some point in my life I’d honestly hoped love would rescue me from the cold, drafty castle I lived in. But at another point, much earlier I think, I’d quietly begun to hope for nothing at all in the way of love, so as not to be disappointed. It works. It gets to be a habit.”

47.“Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.”

48.“The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.”

49.“It is true that I do not speak as well as I can think. But that is true of most people, as nearly as I can tell.”

50.“Humans can be fairly ridiculous animals.”

51.“The wonder is that you could start life with nothing, end with nothing, and lose so much in between.”

52.“A human being can be good or bad or right or wrong, maybe. But how can you say a person is illegal? You just can’t. That’s all there is to it.”

53.“The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don’t know.”

54.“Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.”

55.“It’s what you do that makes your soul.”

56.“The arrogance of the able-bodied is staggering. Yes, maybe we’d like to be able to get places quickly, and carry things in both hands, but only because we have to keep up with the rest of you. We would rather be just like us, and have that be all right.”

57.“Now I’m starting to think he wasn’t supposed to be my whole life, he was just this doorway to me. ”

58.“Shoes would interfere with her conversation, for she constantly addresses the ground under her feet. Asking forgiveness. Owning, disowning, recanting, recharting a hateful course of events to make sense of her complicity. We all are, I suppose. Trying to invent our version of the story. All human odes are essentially one, “My life; what I stole from history, and how I live with it.”

59.“I’m of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.”

60.“It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ”

61.“Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history. Even the child Ruth May touched history. Everyone is complicit. The okapi complied by living, and the spider by dying. It would have lived if it could. Listen: being dead is not worse than being alive. It is different, though. You could say the view is larger.”

62.“Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history.”

63.“If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life.”

64.“I wonder that religion can live or die on the strength of a faint, stirring breeze. The scent trail shifts, causing the predator to miss the pounce. One god draws in the breath of life and rises; another god expires.”

65.“Last time I talked to her she didn’t sound like herself. She’s depressed. It’s awful what happens when people run out of money. They start thinking they’re no good.”

66.“I thought: this is how life is, ridiculous beyond comprehension.”

67.“Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up.”

68.“Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet up.”

69.“Oh, mercy. If it catches you in the wrong frame of mind, the King James Bible can make you want to drink poison in no uncertain terms.”

70.“Hunger of the body is altogether different from the shallow, daily hunger of the belly. Those who have known this kind of hunger cannot entirely love, ever again, those who have not.”

71.“I’ve about decided that’s the main thing that separates happy people from the other people: the feeling that you’re a practical item, with a use, like a sweater or a socket wrench.”

72.“This is how moths speak to each other. They tell their love across the fields by scent. There is no mouth, the wrong words are impossible, either a mate is there or he is not, and if so the pair will find each other in the dark.”

73.“I stir in bed and the memories rise out of me like a buzz of flies from a carcass. I crave to be rid of them…”

74.“This Forest eats itself and lives forever.”

75.“I know how people are, with their habits of mind. Most will sail through from cradle to grave with a conscience clean as snow…I know people. Most have no earthly notion of the price of a snow-white conscience.”

76.“I think most of humankind would agree, the hard part of high school is the people.”

77.“A choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. I am the forest’s conscience, but remember, the forest eats itself and lives forever.”

78.“Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.”

79.“Cooking is 80 percent confidence, a skill best acquired starting from when the apron strings wrap around you twice.”

80.“It’s the one thing we never quite get over: that we contain our own future.”

81.“Sadness is more or less like a head cold – with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”

82.“No matter what kind of night you’re having, morning always wins.”

83.“He was my father. I own half his genes, and all of his history. Believe this: the mistakes are part of the story. I am born of a man who believed he could tell nothing but the truth, while he set down for all time the Poisonwood Bible.”

84.“Friends, there is nothing like your own family to make you appreciate strangers!”

85.“At the time, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. Here’s some advice: Don’t ever think that.”

86.“Alice wonders if other women in the middle of the night have begun to resent their Formica.”

87.“Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they are missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising dough, the painting of flavors onto a pizza before it slides into the oven.”

88.“Will you explain to me why people encourage delusional behaviour in children, and medicate it in adults?”

89.“Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization.”

90.“When moral superiority combines with billowing ignorance, they fill up a hot-air balloon that’s awfully hard not to poke.”

91.“a good story doesn’t just copy life, it pushes back on it.”

92.“the conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners”

93.“If the Lord hasn’t got a boyfriend lined up for me to marry, that’s his business.”

94.“Poor Congo, barefoot bride of men who took her jewels and promised the Kingdom.”

95.“nothing momentous comes in this world unless it comes on the shoulders of kindness.”

96.“People love to believe in danger, as long as it’s you in harm’s way, and them saying bless your heart.”

97.“It’s terrible to lose somebody, but it’s also true that some people never have anybody to lose, and I think that’s got to be so much worse.”

98.“For if there is any single thing that everyone hopes for most dearly, it must be this: that the youngest outlive the oldest.”

99.“I thought I wouldn’t live through it. But you do. You learn to love the place somebody leaves behind for you.”

100.“It’s safer knowing more about people than they know about you.”

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