Annie Dillard quote

"All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring. At the ring's center is a single atom of magnesium. Now: If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its exact place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of hemoglobin. The iron atom combines with all the other atoms to make red blood, the streaming red dots in the goldfish's tail."

Annie Dillard

Born: April 30, 1945

Occupation: Author

Comment

More quotes of Annie Dillard

Annie Dillard

I saw in a blue haze all the world poured flat and pale between the mountains

Read more


Annie Dillard

The Pulitzer is more useful than meaningful.

Read more


Annie Dillard

It is difficult to undo our own damage, and to recall to our presence that which we have asked to leave.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Nature's silence is its one remark, and every flake of world is a chip off that old mute and immutable block.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Silence is not our heritage but our destiny; we live where we want to live.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The soul may ask God for anything, and never fail.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Cruelty is a mystery, and a waste of pain.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Whenever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God's speaking from the whirlwind, nature's old song, and dance...

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

if you stay still, earth buries you, ready or not.

Read more


Annie Dillard

We live in all we seek.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I think the dying pray at the last not "please," but "thank you," as a guest thanks his host at the door.

Read more


Annie Dillard

She is nine, beloved, as open-faced as the sky and as self-contained. I have watched her grow. As recently as three or four years ago, she had a young child's perfectly shallow receptiveness; she fitted...

Read more


Annie Dillard

She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Nothing moves a woman so deeply as the boyhood of the man she loves.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit's one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps are the...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We live in all we seek. The hidden shows up in too-plain sight. It lives captive on the face of the obvious - the people, events, and things of the day - to which we as sophisticated children have long...

Read more


Annie Dillard

As a thinker I keep discovering that beauty itself is as much a fact, and a mystery...I consider nature's facts -- its beautiful and grotesque forms and events -- in terms of the import to thought and...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf

Read more


Annie Dillard

The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Take a quick dip, relax with a schnapps and a sandwich, stretch out, have a smoke, take a nap or just rest, and then sit around and chat until three. Then I hunt some more until sundown, bathe again, put...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I couldn't unpeach the peaches.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Every book has an intrinsic impossibility, which its writer discovers as soon as his first excitement dwindles.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I have since only rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I had hopes for my rough edges. I wanted to use them as a can opener, to cut myself a hole in the world's surface and exit through it.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.

Read more


Annie Dillard

To crank myself up I stood on a jack and ran myself up. I tightened myself like a bolt. I inserted myself in a vise-clamp and wound the handle till the pressure built. I drank coffee in titrated doses....

Read more


Annie Dillard

What could you say to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?

Read more


Annie Dillard

But enough is enough. One turns at last even from glory itself with a sigh of relief. From the depths of mystery, and even from the heights of splendor, we bounce back and hurry for the latitudes of home.

Read more


Annie Dillard

It could be that our faithlessness is a cowering cowardice born of our very smallness, a massive failure of imagination... If we were to judge nature by common sense or likelihood, we wouldnt believe the...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute?

Read more


Annie Dillard

I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Caring passionately about something isn't against nature, and it isn't against human nature. It's what we're here to do.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Nature is, above all, profligate. Don't believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil. Wouldn't it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first...

Read more


Annie Dillard

It's about waking up. A child wakes up over and over again, and notices that she's living. She dreams along, loving the exuberant life of the senses, in love with beauty and power, oblivious to herself...

Read more


Annie Dillard

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and with that one, is what we are doing.

Read more


Annie Dillard

We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The morning woods were utterly new. A strong yellow light pooled beneath the trees; my shadow appeared and vanished on the path, since a third of the trees I walked under were still bare, a third spread...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Love so sprang at her, she honestly thought no one had ever looked into it. Where was it in literature? Someone would have written something. She must not have recognized it. Time to read everything again.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Tonight I walked around the pond scaring frogs; a couple of them jumped off, going, in effect, eek, and most grunted, and the pond was still. But one big frog, bright green like a poster-paint frog, didn't...

Read more


Annie Dillard

What is important is the moment of opening a life and feeling it touch--with an electric hiss and cry--this speckled mineral sphere, our present world.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Peeping through my keyhold I see within the range of only about 30 percent of the light that comes from the sun; the rest is infrared and some little ultraviolet, perfectly apparent to many animals, but...

Read more


Annie Dillard

When you open a book,” the sentimental library posters said, “anything can happen.” This was so. A book of fiction was a bomb. It was a land mine you wanted to go off. You wanted it to blow your...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Doing something does not require discipline. It creates its own discipline - with a little help from caffeine.

Read more


Annie Dillard

For writing a first draft requires from the writer a peculiar internal state which ordinary life does not induce. ... how to set yourself spinning?

Read more


Annie Dillard

Wherever we go, there seems to be only one business at hand - that of finding workable compromises between the sublimity of our ideas and the absurdity of the fact of us.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The point of going somewhere like the Napo River in Ecuador is not to see the most spectacular anything. It is simply to see what is there.

Read more


Annie Dillard

It is difficult to undo our own damage, and to recall to our presence that which we have asked to leave. It is hard to desecrate a grove and change your mind. The very holy mountains are keeping mum. We...

Read more


Annie Dillard

What have we been doing all these centuries but trying to call God back to the mountain, or, failing that, raise a peep out of anything that isn't us? What is the difference between a cathedral and a physics...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The mountains are great stone bells; they clang together like nuns. Who shushed the stars? There are a thousand million galaxies easily seen in the Palomar reflector; collisions between and among them...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We are here to witness. There is nothing else to do with those mute materials we do not need. Until Larry teaches his stone to talk, until God changes his mind, or until the pagan gods slip back to their...

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Then why did you tell me?

Read more


Annie Dillard

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell? No, said the priest, not if you did not know. Then why, asked the Inuit earnestly, did you tell...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I wake up thinking: What am I reading? What will I read next? I'm terrified that I'll run out, that I will read through all I want to, and be forced to learn wildflowers at last, to keep awake.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Write as if you are dying.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Push it. examine all things intensely and relentlessly.

Read more


Annie Dillard

You can, in short, lead the life of the mind, which is, despite some appalling frustrations, the happiest life on earth. And one day, in the thick of this, approaching some partial vision, you will (I...

Read more


Annie Dillard

You can serve or you can sing, and wreck your heart in prayer, working the world's hard work.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I think that the dying pray at the last not please but thank you, as a guest thanks his host at the door. Falling from airplanes the people are crying thank you, thank you, all down the air; and the cold...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Learn punctuation; it is your little drum set, one of the few tools oyu have to signal the reader where the beats and emphases go. (If you get it wrong, any least thing, the editor will throw your manuscript...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed?

Read more


Annie Dillard

All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We have not yet encountered any god who is as merciful as a man who flicks a beetle over on its feet.

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is no such thing as an artist: there is only the world lit or unlit as the light allows. When the candle is burning, who looks at the wick? When the candle is out, who needs it?

Read more


Annie Dillard

When you write, you lay out a line of words. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I cannot imagine a sorrier pursuit than struggling for years to write a book that attempts to appeal to people who do not read in the first place.

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more....

Read more


Annie Dillard

I breathed the air of history all unaware, and walked oblivious through its littered layers.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The world knew you before you knew the world.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The reader's ear must adjust down from loud life to the subtle, imaginary sounds of the written word. An ordinary reader picking up a book can't yet hear a thing; it will take half an hour to pick up the...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.

Read more


Annie Dillard

A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight. It is barely domesticated, a mustang on which you one day fastened a halter, but which now you cannot catch. It is a lion...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The more you read, the more you will write. The better the stuff you read, the better the stuff you will write.

Read more


Annie Dillard

When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner's pick, a wood carver's gouge, a surgeon's probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new...

Read more


Annie Dillard

At night I read and write, and things I have never understood become clear; I reap the harvest of the rest of the year's planting

Read more


Annie Dillard

Adverbs are a sign that you've used the wrong verb.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Unfortunately, nature is very much a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't affair. A fish flashes, then dissolves in the water before my eyes like so much salt. Deer apparently ascend bodily into heaven; the brightest...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The world did not have me in mind; it had no mind. It was a coincidental collection of things and people, of items, an I myself was one such item...the things in the world did not necessarily cause my...

Read more


Annie Dillard

On plenty of days the writer can write three or four pages, and on plenty of other days he concludes he must throw them away.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.

Read more


Annie Dillard

No one escapes the wilderness on the way to the promised land.

Read more


Annie Dillard

There are no events but thoughts and the heart's hard turning, the heart's slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times.

Read more


Annie Dillard

You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then-and only then-it is handed to you.

Read more


Annie Dillard

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The surest sign of age is loneliness.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood; aim for the chopping block.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I would like to learn, or remember, how to live.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The dedicated life is worth living. You must give with your whole heart.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The painter... does not fit the paints to the world. He most certainly does not fit the world to himself. He fits himself to the paint. The self is the servant who bears the paintbox and its inherited...

Read more


Annie Dillard

As soon as beauty is sought not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Buddhism notes that it is always a mistake to think your soul can go it alone.

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I never met a man who was shaken by a field of identical blades of grass. An acre of poppies and a forest of spruce boggle no one's mind.

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Crystals grew inside rock like arithmetic flowers. They lengthened and spread, added plane to plane in an awed and perfect obedience to an absolute geometry that even stones - maybe only the stones - understood.

Read more


Annie Dillard

It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator, our very self-consciousness, is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter...

Read more


Annie Dillard

You are wrong if you think that you can in any way take the vision and tame it to the page. The page is jealous and tyrannical; the page is made of time and matter; the page always wins.

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I'm a housewife: I spend far more time on housework than anything else.

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.

Read more


Annie Dillard

You can't test courage cautiously.

Read more


Annie Dillard

A writer looking for subjects inquires not after what he loves best, but after what he alone loves at all.

Read more


Annie Dillard

As a life's work, I would remember everything - everything, against loss. I would go through life like a plankton net.

Read more


Annie Dillard

At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it.

Read more


Annie Dillard

God gave me a talent to draw. I 'owed' it to him to develop the talent.

Read more


Annie Dillard

How can people think that artists seek a name? There is no such thing as an artist - only the world, lit or unlit, as the world allows.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I can't dance anymore. Total knee replacements. I can't do anything anymore.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years. I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again.

Read more


Annie Dillard

If you're going to publish a book, you probably are going to make a fool of yourself.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Just think: in all the clean, beautiful reaches of the solar system, our planet alone is a blot; our planet alone has death.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Our family was on the lunatic fringe. My mother was always completely irrepressible. My father made crowd noises into a microphone.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The mind of the writer does indeed do something before it dies, and so does its owner, but I would be hard put to call it living.

Read more


Annie Dillard

When I teach, I preach. I thump the Bible. I exhort my students morally. I talk to them about the dedicated life.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I noticed this process of waking, and predicted with terrifying logic that one of these years not far away I would be awake continuously and never slip back, and never be free of myself again.

Read more


Annie Dillard

It makes more sense to write one big book - a novel or nonfiction narrative - than to write many stories or essays. Into a long, ambitious project you can fit or pour all you possess and learn.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The sensation of writing a book is the sensation of spinning, blinded by love and daring. It is the sensation of a stunt pilot's turning barrel rolls, or an inchworm's blind rearing from a stem in search...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. What would you begin writing if you knew you would die...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest. I'd half-awaken. He'd stick his skull under my nose and purr,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

If we were to judge nature by common sense or likelihood, we wouldn't believe the world existed.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But- and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny? But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Why do you never find anything written about that idiosyncratic thought you advert to, about your fascination with something no one else understands? Because it is up to you. There is something you find...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Nothing on earth is more gladdening than knowing we must roll up our sleeves and move back the boundaries of the humanly possible once more.

Read more


Annie Dillard

We still and always want waking.

Read more


Annie Dillard

We wake, if ever at all, to mystery.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Make connections; let rip; and dance where you can.

Read more


Annie Dillard

We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence...

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress & its actual quality. The feeling that the work is magnificent, & the feeling...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The written word is weak. Many people prefer life to it. Life gets your blood going, & it smells good. Writing is mere writing, literature is mere. It appeals only to the subtlest senses—the imagination’s...

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The world is wider in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain...

Read more


Annie Dillard

How you spend your days is how you spend your life.

Read more


Annie Dillard

These are our few live seasons. Let us live them as purely as we can, in the present.

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is a certain age at which a child looks at you in all earnestness and delivers a long, pleased speech in all the true inflections of spoken English, but with not one recognizable syllable. There...

Read more


Annie Dillard

He judged the instant and let go; he flung himself loose into the stars.

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Every live thing is a survivor on a kind of extended emergency bivouac.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Writers serve as the memory of a people. They chew over our public past.

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Experiencing the present purely is being empty and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Geography is the key, the crucial accident of birth. A piece of protein could be a snail, a sea lion, or a systems analyst, but it had to start somewhere. This is not science; it is merely metaphor. And...

Read more


Annie Dillard

There was only silence. It was the silence of matter caught in the act and embarrassed. There were no cells moving, and yet there were cells. I could see the shape of the land, how it lay holding silence....

Read more


Annie Dillard

Write about winter in the summer. Describe Norway as Ibsen did, from a desk in Italy; describe Dublin as James Joyce did, from a desk in Paris. Willa Cather wrote her prairie novels in New York City; Mark...

Read more


Annie Dillard

It's a little silly to finally learn how to write at this age. But I long ago realized I was secretly sincere.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We are here on the planet only once, and might as well get a feel for the place.

Read more


Annie Dillard

A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, ‘There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,’ is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We are here to witness the creation and to abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: There is nothing there...You feel the world's word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: This hum...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We are most deeply asleep at the switch when we fancy we control any switches at all.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The secret is not to write about what you love best, but about what you, alone, love at all.

Read more


Annie Dillard

One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We sleep to time's hurdy-gurdy; we wake, if ever we wake, to the silence of God. And then, when we wake to the deep shores of time uncreated, then when the dazzling dark breaks over the far slopes of time,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

It would seem that emotions are the curse, not death-emotions that appear to have developed upon a few freaks as a special curse from Malevolence. All right then. It is our emotions that are amiss. We...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I feel as though I stand at the foot of an infinitely high staircase, down which some exuberant spirit is flinging tennis ball after tennis ball, eternally, and the one thing I want in the world is a tennis...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Last forever!' Who hasn't prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The real and proper question is: why is it beautiful?

Read more


Annie Dillard

No, the point is not only does time fly and do we die, but that in these reckless conditions we live at all, and are vouchsafed, for the duration of certain inexplicable moments, to know it.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.

Read more


Annie Dillard

It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The silence is all there is. It is the alpha and the omega, it is God's brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blinded note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings. You take a step in the...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The way we live our days, is the way we live our lives.

Read more


Annie Dillard

After the one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you can rig a giant...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The mind wants to live forever, or to learn a very good reason why not. The mind wants the world to return its love, or its awareness... The mind's sidekick, however, will settle for two eggs over easy....

Read more


Annie Dillard

There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for years on end. It is all so self conscience, so apparently moral...But I won't have it. The world...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Books swept me away, this way and that, one after the other; I made endless vows according to their lights for I believed them.

Read more


Annie Dillard

What a hideout: Holiness lies spread and borne over the surface of time and stuff like color.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Divinity is not playful. The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensibl e earnest. By a power that is unfathomably secret, and holy, and fleet. There is nothing to be done about it, but...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Trees have a curious relationship to the subject of the present moment. There are many created things in the universe that outlive us, that outlive the sun, even, but I can't think about them. I live with...

Read more


Annie Dillard

The way you live your days is the way you live your life.

Read more


Annie Dillard

People who read are not too lazy to turn on the television; they prefer books.

Read more


Annie Dillard

What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Many writers do little else but sit in small rooms recalling the real world.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Even if things are as bad as they could possible be, and as meaningless, then matters of truth are themselves indifferent; we may as well please our sensibilities and, with as much spirit as we can muster,...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Theirs is the mystery of continuous creation and all that providence implies: the uncertainty of vision, the horror of the fixed, the dissolution of the present, the intricacy of beauty, the pressure of...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Could two live that way? Could two live under the wild rose, and explore by the pond, so that the smooth mind of each is as everywhere present to the other, and as received and as unchallenged, as falling...

Read more


Annie Dillard

Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in...

Read more


Annie Dillard

why did I have to keep learning this same thing over and over?

Read more


Annie Dillard

Skin was earth; it was soil. I could see, even on my own skin, the joined trapezoids of dust specks God had wetted and stuck with his spit the morning he made Adam from dirt. Now, all these generations...

Read more


Annie Dillard

You can't test courage cautiously, so I ran hard and waved my arms hard, happy.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Having chosen this foolishness, I was a free being. How could the world ever stop me, how could I betray myself, if I was not afraid?

Read more


Annie Dillard

Noticing and remembering everything would trap bright scenes to light and fill the blank and darkening past which was already piling up behind me. The growing size of that blank and ever-darkening past...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I had been chipping at the world idly, and had by accident uncovered vast and labyrinthine further worlds within it.

Read more


Annie Dillard

If even rock was interesting, if even this ugliness was worth whole shelves at the library, required sophisticated tools to study, and inspired grown men to crack mountains and saw crystals--then what...

Read more


Annie Dillard

So the Midwest nourishes us [...] and presents us with the spectacle of a land and a people completed and certain. And so we run to our bedrooms and read in a fever, and love the big hardwood trees outside...

Read more


Annie Dillard

It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible...

Read more


Annie Dillard

There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Are you living just a little and calling that life?

Read more


Annie Dillard

Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a book in a year. Some people lift cars, too. Some people enter week-long sled-dog races, go over Niagara...

Read more


Annie Dillard

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.

Read more


Annie Dillard

He is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write. He is careful of what he learns, for that is what he will know.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Admire the world for never ending on you -- as you would an opponent, without taking your eyes away from him, or walking away.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I am sorry I ran from you. I am still running, running from that knowledge, that eye, that love from which there is no refuge. For you meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain. So once...

Read more


Annie Dillard

We are here to witness the creation and to abet it.

Read more


Annie Dillard

Does anything eat flowers. I couldn't recall having seen anything eat a flower - are they nature's privileged pets?

Read more


Annie Dillard

When I was six or seven years old, growing up in Pittsburgh, I used to take a precious penny of my own and hide it for someone else to find. I was greatly excited at the thought of the first lucky passerby...

Read more


Annie Dillard

I would like to live. . . open to time and death painlessly, noticing everything, remembering nothing, choosing the given with a fierce and pointed will.

Read more


Annie Dillard

The universe that suckled us is a monster that does not care if we live or die--it does not care if it itself grinds to a halt. It is a beast running on chance and death, careening from nowhere to nowhere....

Read more


Annie Dillard

I am a fugitive and a vagabond, a sojourner seeking signs.

Read more


Annie Dillard

I wake expectant, hoping to see a new thing.

Read more


Annie Dillard

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. A net for catching days.

Read more



Related quote

Annie Dillard

All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms...

Read more


Jostein Gaarder

A hydrogen atom in a cell at the end of my nose was once part of an elephant's trunk. A carbon atom in my cardiac muscle was once in the tail of a dinosaur.

Read more


Richard P. Feynman

I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.

Read more


Terry Pratchett

Take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. and yet... and yet you act as if there is some...

Read more


Neil deGrasse Tyson

Stars die and reborn […] They get so hot that the nuclei of the atoms fuse together deep within them to make the oxygen we breathe, the carbon in our muscles, the calcium in our bones, the iron in our...

Read more


Waldemar Kaempffert

In size the electron bears the same relation to an atom that a baseball bears to the earth. Or, as Sir Oliver Lodge puts it, if a hydrogen atom were magnified to the size of a church, an electron would...

Read more


Swami Vivekananda

Every atom is trying to go and join itself to the next atom. Atoms after atoms combine, making huge balls, the earths, the suns, the moons, the stars, the planets. They in their turn, are trying to rush...

Read more


Michael Pollan

Originally, the atoms of carbon from which we're made were floating in the air, part of a carbon dioxide molecule. The only way to recruit these carbon atoms for the molecules necessary to support life-the...

Read more


Jacob Bronowski

The air in a man's lungs 10,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000 atoms, so that sooner or later every one of us breathes an atom that has been breathed before by anyone you can think of who has ever lived - Michelangelo...

Read more


Arthur Conan Doyle

Love has been taken away from the poets, and has been brought within the domain of true science. It may prove to be one of the great cosmic elementary forces. When the atom of hydrogen draws the atom of...

Read more


Carleton S. Coon

It is the retention by twentieth-century, Atom-Age men of the Neolithic point of view that says: You stay in your village and I will stay in mine. If your sheep eat our grass we will kill you, or we may...

Read more


Mahmud Shabistari

Every particle of the world is a mirror. In each atom blazes forth the light of a thousand suns. Open the heart of a raindrop and you will find a hundred oceans. In a grain of sand lies the seed of a thousand...

Read more


Swami Vivekananda

Who can break the law? If I break this glass, it will fall down. If anyone succeeds in throwing one atom out of place, every other atom will go out of balance. . . . The law can never be broken. Each atom...

Read more


Edgar Cayce

In each atom, in each corpuscle, is life. Life is what you worship as God ... and earth is only an atom in the universe of worlds.

Read more


Rumi

Make everything in you an ear, each atom of your being, and you will hear at every moment what the Source is whispering to you...you are -we all are-the beloved of the beloved, and in every moment, in...

Read more


Lawrence M. Krauss

You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren't created at the beginning of time. They were created...

Read more


Deepak Chopra

In God's eyes, walking on water is no more miraculous than the ability of hemoglobin to bond with oxygen inside a red blood corpuscle.

Read more


Florence Welch

I was having a conversation with my father and he was talking about this thing - strangeness and charm. It's actually the name of the two smallest particles that there are when you split the atom, so I...

Read more


William Patten

We shall use the terms morality, behavior, conduct, or constructive action in the same broad way. It may sound strange to speak of the morals of an atom, or of the way in which a molecule conducts itself....

Read more


George Wald

It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists, and physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.

Read more


Johannes Stark

The removal of an electron from the surface of an atom - that is, the ionization of the atom - means a fundamental structural change in its surface layer.

Read more


“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss