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Terry Tempest Williams quotes (showing 1-30 of 168)

“This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Leap
“Faith is not about finding meaning in the world, there may be no such thing -- faith is the belief in our capacity to create meaningful lives.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Leap
“For far too long we have been seduced into walking a path that did not lead us to ourselves. For far too long we have said yes when we wanted to say no. And for far too long we have said no when we desperately wanted to say yes. . . .

When we don't listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don't, others will abandon us.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.”
Terry Tempest Williams
“Buddha says there are two kinds of suffering: the kind that leads to more suffering and the kind that brings an end to suffering.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
“What is the most important thing one learns in school? Self-esteem, support, and friendship.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Pieces of White Shell
“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
Terry Tempest Williams
“Word by word, the language of women so often begins with a whisper.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“The middle path makes me wary. . . . But in the middle of my life, I am coming to see the middle path as a walk with wisdom where conversations of complexity can be found, that the middle path is the path of movement. . . . In the right and left worlds, the stories are largely set. . . . We become missionaries for a position . . . practitioners of the missionary position. Variety is lost. Diversity is lost. Creativity is lost in our inability to make love with the world.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Leap
“Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”
Terry Tempest Williams
“What is real to me is the power of our awareness when we are focused on something beyond ourselves. It is a shaft of light shining in a dark corner. Our ability to shift our perceptions and seek creative alternatives to the conondrums of modernity is in direct proportion to our empathy. Can we imagine, witness, and ultimately feel the suffering of another?”
Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World
“I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget….

I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness….

write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine….

I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert
“When one woman doesn't speak, other women get hurt.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“I believe every woman should own at least one pair of red shoes.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
“Who wants to be a goddess when we can be human? Perfection is a flaw disguised as control.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“Our kinship with Earth must be maintained; otherwise, we will find ourselves trapped in the center of our own paved-over souls with no way out.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World
“Story is the umbilical cord that connects us to the past, present, and future. Family. Story is a relationship between the teller and the listener, a responsibility. . . . Story is an affirmation of our ties to one another.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Pieces of White Shell
“There is no one true church, no one chosen people.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Leap
“Today, I feel stronger, learning to live within the natural cycles of a day and to not expect too much of myself. As women, we hold the moon in our bellies. It is too much to ask to operate on full-moon energy three hundred and sixty-five days a year. I am in a crescent phase.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
“The Eyes of the Future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert
“When I look in the mirror, I see a woman with secrets. When we don’t listen to our intuition, we abandon our souls. And we abandon our souls because we are afraid if we don’t, others will abandon us.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light. We can be blind to it and blinded by it. Our shadow asks us to look at what we don’t want to see”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“Women piece together their lives from the scraps left over for them.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“Choosing with integrity means finding ways to speak up that honor your reality, the reality of others, and your willingness to meet in the center of that large field. It’s hard sometimes.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“My voice is born repeatedly in the fields of uncertainty.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
“I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts... I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words.”
Terry Tempest Williams
“The moment Eve bit into the apple, her eyes opened and she became free. She exposed the truth of what every woman knows: to find our sovereign voice often requires a betrayal.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
“Grief dares us to love once more.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
tags: grief
“To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones.”
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

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Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place Refuge
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When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice When Women Were Birds
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An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field An Unspoken Hunger
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