Annie Dillard Quotes
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How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
No one escapes the wilderness on the way to the promised land.
At a certain point, you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening.
A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
As a life's work, I would remember everything - everything, against loss. I would go through life like a plankton net.
Experiencing the present purely is being empty and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.
According to Inuit culture in Greenland, a person possesses six or seven souls. The souls take the form of tiny people scattered throughout the body.
The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.
I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.
The dedicated life is worth living. You must give with your whole heart.
If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair... or go into business. You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.
Then why did you tell me?
Ecstasy, I think, is a soul's response to the waves holiness makes as it nears.
I alternate between thinking of the planet as home - dear and familiar stone hearth and garden - and as a hard land of exile in which we are all sojourners.
You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.
The secret is not to write about what you love best, but about what you, alone, love at all.
Every live thing is a survivor on a kind of extended emergency bivouac.
We are here to abet creation and to witness to it, to notice each other's beautiful face and complex nature so that creation need not play to an empty house.
We live in all we seek.
I couldn't unpeach the peaches.
Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute?
Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.
There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.
Whenever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God's speaking from the whirlwind, nature's old song, and dance.
The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out.
The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less.
She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.
You can't test courage cautiously.
We are here on the planet only once, and might as well get a feel for the place.
What a hideout: Holiness lies spread and borne over the surface of time and stuff like color.
Caring passionately about something isn't against nature, and it isn't against human nature. It's what we're here to do.
We are most deeply asleep at the switch when we fancy we control any switches at all.
The real and proper question is: why is it beautiful?
Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.
Make connections; let rip; and dance where you can.
You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then-and only then-it is handed to you.
Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.
I wake expectant, hoping to see a new thing.
It should surprise no one that the life of the writer - such as it is - is colorless to the point of sensory deprivation. Many writers do little else but sit in small rooms recalling the real world.
Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.
Knowing you are alive is watching on every side your generation's short time falling away as fast as rivers drop through air, and feeling it hit.
An Eskimo shaman said, Life's greatest danger lies in the fact that man's food consists entirely of souls.
Adverbs are a sign that you've used the wrong verb.
Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic.
Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.
The way we live our days, is the way we live our lives.
Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed?
There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.
As soon as beauty is sought not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.
I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as a dying friend. I hold its hand and hope it will get better.