Let me tell you something. A man ain't a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can't chop down because they're inside.
For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.
I had only one desire: to dismember it. To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me.
They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred, their elaborately designed hopelessness and sucked it all up into a fiery cone of scorn that had burned for ages in the hollows of their minds - cooled - and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path.
Make a difference, does it? You stay the night here snake get you.
Gimme hate, Lord,ö he whimpered. ôIÆll take hate any day. But donÆt give me love. I canÆt take no more love, Lord. I canÆt carry it...ItÆs too heavy. Jesus, you know, You know all about it. AinÆt it heavy? Jesus? AinÆt love heavy?
If happiness is anticipation with certainty, we were happy.
Tough shit, buddy. Your tough shit...
No matter what all your teeth and wet fingers anticipated, there was no accounting for the way that simple joy could shake you.
I wish IÆd a knowed more people. I would of loved æem all. If IÆd a knowed more, I would a loved more
Instead of ignoring her infirmity, pretending it was not there, he made it seem like something special and endearing. For the first time Pauline felt that her bad foot was an asset
We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.
No more running-from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this Earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D. Garner: it cost too much!
Listen, baby, people do funny things. Specially us. The cards are stacked against us and just trying to stay in the game, stay alive and in the game, makes us do funny things. Things we can't help. Things that make us hurt one another. We don't even know why.
Jealousy we understood and thought natural...but envy was a strange, new feeling for us. And all the time we knew that Maureen Peal was not the Enemy and not worthy of such intense hatred. The Thing to fear was the Thing that made her beautiful, and not us.
You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.
Not knowing it was hard; knowing it was harder.
Milkman could hardly breathe. Hagar's voice scooped up what little pieces of heart he had left to call his own.
Lonely was much better than alone
She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.
Nothing could be taken for granted. Women who loved you tried to cut your throat, while women who didn't even know your name scrubbed your back. Witches could sound like Katharine Hepburn and your best friend could try to strangle you. Smack in the middle of an orchid there might be a blob of jello and inside a Mickey Mouse doll, a fixed and radiant star.
Love is never any better than the lover.
Sifting daylight dissolves the memory, turns it into dust motes floating in light.
She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it's there, because it can't hurt, and because what difference does it make?
Misery colored by the greens and blues in my mother's voice took away all the grief out of the words and left me with a conviction that pain was not only endurable, it was sweet.
Some things you forget. Other things you never do. But it's not. Places, places are still there. If a house burns down, it's gone, but the place--the picture of it--stays, and not just in my remory, but out there, in the world. What I remember is a picture floating around out there outside my head. I mean, even if I don't think if, even if I die, the picture of what I did, or knew, or saw is still out there. Right in the place where it happened.
They hooted and laughed all the way back to the car, teasing Milkman, egging him on to tell more about how scared he was. And he told them. Laughing too, hard, loud, and long. Really laughing, and he found himself exhilarated by simply walking the earth. Walking it like he belonged on it; like his legs were stalks, tree trunks, a part of his body that extended down down down into the rock and soil, and were comfortable there--on the earth and on the place where he walked. And he did not limp.
Never did he once consider directing his hatred toward the hunters. Such an emotion would have destroyed him ... His subconscious knew what his min did not guess-that hating them would have consumed him, burned him up like a piece of soft coal, leaving only flakes of ash and a question mark of smoke.
And wouldn't you know he'd be a singing man.
Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.
Where do you get the right to decide our lives? I'll tell you where. From that little hog's gut that hangs between your legs. Well, let me tell you something... you will need more than that. I don't know where you will get it or who will give it to you, but mark my words, you will need more than that.... You are a sad, pitiful, stupid, selfish, hateful man. I hope your little hog's gut stands you in good stead, and you take good care of it, because you don't have anything else.
Only her tight, tight eyes were left. They were always left...They were everything. Everything was there, in them...Thrown, in this way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would see only what there was to see: the eyes of other people.
Clever, but schoolteacher beat him anyway to show him that definitions belonged to the definers - not the defined.
The threads of malice creeping toward him from Beloved's side of the table were held harmless in the warmth of Sethe's smile.
You already alone. If you want more alone, I can knock you into the middle of next week, and leave you there.
She became, and her process of becoming was like most of ours: she developed a hatred for things that mystified or obstructed her; acquired virtues that were easy to maintain; assigned herself a role in the scheme of things; and harked back to simpler times for gratification.
Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.
There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship's, smooths and contains the rocker. It's an inside kind--wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one's own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.
You have pissed your last in this house . . . and I don't make velvet roses anymore.
She left me the way people leave a hotel room. A hotel room is a place to be when you are doing something else. Of itself it is of no consequence to one's major scheme. A hotel room is convenient. But its convenience is limited to the time you need it while you are in that particular town on that particular business; you hope it is comfortable, but prefer, rather, that it be anoymous. It is not, after all, where you live.
He wants to put his story next to hers.
There is no bad luck in the world but whitefolks
Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another--physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.
She missed -- without knowing what she missed-- paints and crayons
In Ohio seasons are theatrical. Each one enters like a prima donna, convinced its performance is the reason the world has people in it.
They encouraged you to put some of your weight in their hands and soon as you felt how light and lovely it was, they studied your scars and tribulations...
Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.
Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes.
In trying to make the slave experience intimate, I hoped the sense of things being both under control and out of control would be persuasive throughout; that the order and quietitude of every day life would be violently disrupted by the chaos of the needy dead; that the herculean effort to forget would be threatened by memory desperate to stay alive. To render enslavement as a personal experience, language must first get out of the way.
Unless carefree, mother love was a killer.
More Toni Morrison Quotations (Based on Topics)
People - World - Love - Time - Man - Education - Sense & Perception - Mind - Beauty - Hatred - Place - Woman - Children - Books - Cities - Friendship - Life - Power - Language - View All Toni Morrison Quotations
More Toni Morrison Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Song of Solomon
- The Bluest Eye
Paulo Coelho - Sidney Sheldon - Maxim Gorky - Mario Puzo - Honore de Balzac - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Erich Segal - Anne Rice - Anne Bronte - Amy Tan