Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction.
You don't ask questions of an attic
Modern US consumers now get to taste less than 1 percent of the vegetable varieties that were grown here a century ago. Those old-timers now lurk only in backyard gardens and on farms that specialize in direct sales--if they survive at all. Many heirlooms have been lost entirely.
How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.
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.
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.
It lasted just a moment, whatever that is. One held breath? An ant's afternoon? It was brief, I can promise that much, for although it's been many years now since my children ruled my life, a mother recalls the measure of the silences.
Poor Congo, barefoot bride of men who took her jewels and promised the Kingdom.
When I want to take God at his word exactly, I take a peep out the window at His creation. Because that, darling, He makes fresh for us everyday...
Remember how we use to pray to get invited to birthday parties? And they only asked us because we were so grateful we'd do anything, stay late and help the mothers wash the cake pans. I'm still that girl, flattered to death if somebody wants me around.
Your dreams, what you hope for and all that, it's not separate from your life. It grows right up out of it.
Most of us are creatures so comforted by habit, it can take something on the order of religion to invoke new, more conscious behaviors--however glad we may be afterward that we went to the trouble.
If you never stepped on anybody's toes, you never been for a walk.
Back then I was still appalled that God would set down his barefoot boy and girl dollies into an Eden where, presumably, He had just turned loose elephantiasis and microes that eat the human cornea. Now I understand, God is not just rooting fo the dollies.
How is it right to slip free of an old skin and walk away from the scene of the crime? We came, we saw, we took away and we left behind, we must be allowed our anguish and our regrets.
It's frightening when things you love appear suddenly changed from what you have always known.
She is inhumanly alone. And then, all at once, she isn't.
When the rain pours down especially, we have long hours of captivity, in which my sisters determinedly grow bored. But are there books, books there are! Rattling words on the page calling my eyes to dance with them. Everyone else will finish with the singular plowing through, and Ada still has discoveries ahead and behind.
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.
She kept swimming out into life because she hadn't yet found a rock to stand on.
And here is the shocking plot twist: as farmers produced those extra calories, the food industry figured out how to get them into the bodies of people who didn't really want to eat 700 more calories a day.
Most people no longer believe that buying sneakers made in Asian sweatshops is a kindness to those child laborers. Farming is similar. In every country on earth, the most human scenario for farmers is likely to be feeding those who live nearby--if international markets would allow them to do it. Food transport has become a bizarre and profitable economic equation that's no longer really about feeding anyone ... If you care about farmers, let the potatoes stay home.
Now I'm starting to think he wasn't supposed to be my whole life, he was just this doorway to me.
Because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me, or paused at least to strike a glancing blow with his sky-blue mouth as he passed.
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.
I've seen how you can't learn anything when you're trying to look like the smartest person in the room.
Shoes, then, sliding me across the floor to greet the day. Dreaming of coffee. I'm afraid I didn't miss the physical presence of my husband in his absences as much as I missed coffee.
Where you'd be wearing out the knees of your trousers, sir, they just have to go ahead and wear out their knees!
At some time 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.
She would just be catching up when I'd go again, swimming farther out into life because I still hadn't found a rock to stand on.
Arterial-plaque specials that save minutes now can cost years, later on.
Once you start cooking, one thing leads to another. A new recipe is as exciting as a blind date. A new ingredient, heaven help me, is an intoxicating affair.
The loudest sound on earth, she thought, is a man with nothing to do.
I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book.
Let me claim that Africa and I kept company for a while and then parted ways as if we were both party to relations with a failed outcome. Or say I was afflicted with Africa like a bout of a rare disease from which I have not managed a full recovery.
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.
While we watched without comprehension, she moved away to where none of us wanted to follow. Ruth May shrank back through the narrow passage between this brief fabric of light and all the rest of what there is for us: the long waiting. Now she will wait the rest of the time. It will be exactly as long as the time that passed before she was born.
But children robbed of love will dwell on magic.
The 2-week delay of her letters had caused me to keep a distrustful eye on Hallie, like a star so many light years away it could have exploded long ago while we still watched its false shine.
But other people fast or walk long pilgrimages to honor the spirit of what they believe makes our world whole and lovely. If we gardeners can, in the same spirit, put our heels to the shovel, kneel before a trench holding tender roots, and then wait three years for an edible incarnation of the spring equinox, who's to make the call between ridiculous and reverent?
Over the last decade our country has lost an average of 300 farms a week. Large or small, each of those was the lifes work of a real person or family, people who built their lives around a promise and watched it break.
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.
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.
I considered her my ally, because, like me, she was imperfect.
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.
Silence has many advantages…I write and draw in my notebook and I read anything I please.
You can curse the dead or pray for them, but don't expect them to do a thing for you. They're far too interested in watching us, to see what in heaven's name we will do next.
God, why does a mortal man have children? It is senseless to love anything this much.
The color brown, I realized, is anything but nondescript. It comes in as many hues as there are colors of earth, with is commonly presumed infinite.
More Barbara Kingsolver Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Mind - People - Love - Truth - Thought & Thinking - Soul - Dreams - Place - Home - God - Time - Mothers - Cooking - Flowers - Death & Dying - Family - America - Food - View All Barbara Kingsolver Quotations
More Barbara Kingsolver Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Animal Dreams
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
- Prodigal Summer
- The Bean Trees
- The Poisonwood Bible
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