Isak Dinesen Quotes
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The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.
I don't believe in evil; I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the blights and the ants and the maggots.
There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.
There are many ways to the recognition of truth, and Burgundy is one of them.
A giraffe is so much a lady that one refrains from thinking of her legs, but remembers her as floating over the plains in long garb, draperies of morning mist her mirage.
Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the Word of the Lord is to the soul.
Love, with very young people, is a heartless business. We drink at that age from thirst, or to get drunk; it is only later in life that we occupy ourselves with the individuality of our wine.
What is it which is bought dearly, offered for nothing, and then most often refused?--Experience, old people's experience.
Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within a dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous solution. Be brave, be brave.
"Do you know a cure for me?" Why yes," he said, "I know a cure for everything. Salt water." Salt water?" I asked him. Yes," he said, "in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea".
Here I am, where I am supposed to be.
I think all sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.
There is something about Safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows
It's an odd feeling-farewell-there is some envy in it. Men go off to be tested for courage and if we're tested at all, it's for patience, for doing without, for how well we can endure loneliness.
our longing is our pledge, and blessed are the homesick, for they shall come home.
A poet's mission is to make others confound fiction and reality in order to render them, for an hour, mysteriously happy.
People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue.
To be a person is to have a story to tell.
I have before seen other countries, in the same manner, give themselves to you when you are about to leave them.
There is a particular hapiness in giving a man whom you like very much, good food that you have cooked yourself.
Truth is for tailors and shoemakers. I, on the contrary, have always held that the Lord has a penchant for masquerades.
I think it will be truly glorious when women become real people and have the whole world open to them.
If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.
Up in this air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.
To me, the explanation of life seems to be its melody, its pattern. And I feel in life such an infinite, truly inconceivable fantasy.
Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.
It is not the visions but the activity which makes you happy, and the joy and glory of the flier is the flight itself.
It is when people are told their own thoughts that they think they are being insulted.
We invent the past and remember the future.
There are times of great beauty on a coffee farm. When the plantation flowered in the beginning of the rains, it was a radiant sight, like a cloud of chalk, in the mist of the drizzling rain.
The best of my nature reveals itself in play, and play is sacred.
If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages.
The lime trees were in bloom. But in the early morning only a faint fragrance drifted through the garden, an airy message, an aromatic echo of the dreams during the short summer night.
I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.
What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?
I beg of you, you good people who want to hear stories told: look at this page and recognize the wisdom of my grandmother and of all old story-telling women!
Man and woman are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other.
Real art must always involve some witchcraft.
I do not think that I could ever really love a woman who had not, at one time or another, been up on a broomstick.
But by the time that I had nothing left, I myself was the lightest thing of all for fate to get rid of.
I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
My love was both humble and audacious, like that of a page for his lady.
Do you know...what I think is a great pity? It is this: that we have all become such skeptics that we hardly believe what our pious grandmothers told us.
I had seen a herd of Elephant travelling through dense native forest ... pacing along as if they had an appointment at the end of the world.
Within our whole universe the story only has the authority to answer that cry of heart of its characters, that one cry of heart of each of them: "Who am I?"
The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control.
All sorrows can be borne if you can put them into a story.
Man reaches the highest point of lovableness at 12 to 17 - to get it back, in a second flowering, at the age of 70 to 90
When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find out that it is the same in all her music.