THERE was a curious social situation in Black Hawk. All the young men felt the attraction of the fine, well-set-up country girls who had come to town to earn a living, and, in nearly every case, to help the father struggle out of debt, or to make it possible for the younger children of the family to go to school.
Antonia came in and stood before me...It was a shock, of course. It always is, to meet people after long years, especially if they have lived as much and as hard as this woman had. We stood looking at each other. The eyes that peered anxiously at me were - simply Antonia's eyes..As I confronted her, the changes grew less apparent to me, her identity stronger. She was there in the full vigour of her personality, battered, but not diminished...
I had killed a big snake. I was now a big fellow.
I have sometimes thought that his bursts of imaginative talk were fatal to his poetic gift. He squandered too much in the heat of personal communication.
I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world, which could not be very far away. The light and air abot me told me that the world ended here: only the ground and sun and sky were left, and if one went a little farther there would only be sun and sky, and one would float off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed over our heads making slow shadows on the grass.
I'd have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister--anything a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don't realize it. You really are a part of me.
If we never arrived anywhere, it did not matter. Between that earth and that sky i felt erased, blotted out. I did not say my prayers that night: here, i felt what would be would be.
It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the foundation of early races.
She lent herself to immemorial human attitudes which we recognize by instinct as universal and true… she still had that something which fires the imagination, could still stop one's breath for a moment by a look or gesture that somehow revealed the meaning in common things.
There was a new kind of strength in the gravity of her face, and her colors still gave her that look of deep-seated health and ardor.
This is reality, whether you like it or not--all those frivolities of summer, the light and shadow, the living mask of green that trembled over everything, they were lies, and this is what was underneath. This is the truth.
More Willa Cather Quotations (Based on Topics)
World - Man - Art - People - Countries - Love - Youth - Woman - Happiness - Fool - Light - Family - Desire - Time - Friendship - Nature - Fathers - Silver - Idea - View All Willa Cather Quotations
More Willa Cather Quotations (By Book Titles)
- My Antonia
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