Louise Erdrich Louise Erdrich > Quotes


Louise Erdrich quotes (showing 1-30 of 140)

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
“When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.”
Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves
“We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.”
Louise Erdrich, The Bingo Palace
“some people meet the way the sky meets the earth, inevitably, and there is no stopping or holding back their love. It exists in a finished world, beyond the reach of common sense.”
Louise Erdrich, Tales of Burning Love
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
“Women without children are also the best of mothers,often, with the patience,interest, and saving grace that the constant relationship with children cannot always sustain. I come to crave our talk and our daughters gain precious aunts. Women who are not mothering their own children have the clarity and focus to see deeply into the character of children webbed by family. A child is fortuante who feels witnessed as a peron,outside relationships with parents by another adult.”
Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year
“To love another another human in all of her splendor and imperfect perfection , it is a magnificent task...tremendous and foolish and human.”
Louise Erdrich, The Last Report On The Miracles At Little No Horse
“Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.”
Louise Erdrich, Original Fire: Selected and New Poems
“I prefer to have some beliefs that don't make logical sense.”
Louise Erdrich
“There will never come a time when I will be able to resist my emotions.”
Louise Erdrich, Tales of Burning Love
“Love won't be tampered with, love won't go away. Push it to one side and it creeps to the other.

Louise Erdrich
“So what is wild? What is wilderness? What are dreams but an internal wilderness and what is desire but a wildness of the soul?”
Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year
“Things which do not grow and change are dead things.”
Louise Erdrich
“To sew is to pray. Men don't understand this. They see the whole but they don't see the stitches. They don't see the speech of the creator in the work of the needle. We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. Only a woman's eyes can tell. Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making. Only women can hear the prayer.”
Louise Erdrich, Four Souls
“We have a lot of books in our house. They are our primary decorative motif-books in piles and on the coffee table, framed book covers, books sorted into stacks on every available surface, and of course books on shelves along most walls. Besides the visible books, there are books waiting in the wings, the basement books, the garage books, the storage locker books...They function as furniture, they prop up sagging fixtures and disguised by quilts function as tables...I can't imagine a home without an overflow of books. The point of books is to have way too many but to always feel you never have enough, or the right one at the right moment, but then sometimes to find you'd longed to fall asleep reading the Aspern Papers, and there it is.”
Louise Erdrich, Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country
“Cold sinks in, there to stay. And people, they'll leave you, sure. There's no return to what was and no way back. There's just emptiness all around, and you in it, like singing up from the bottom of a well, like nothing else, until you harm yourself, until you are a mad dog biting yourself for sympathy. Because there is no relenting.”
Louise Erdrich, The Bingo Palace
“We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.”
Louise Erdrich, Tracks
“When every inch of the world is known, sleep may be the only wilderness that we have left.”
Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year
“What happens when you let an unsatisfactory present go on long enough? It becomes your entire history.”
Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves
“The only time I see the truth is when I cross my eyes.”
Louise Erdrich, The Last Report On The Miracles At Little No Horse
“ We have these earthly bodies. We don't know what they want. Half the time, we pretend they are under our mental thumb, but that is the illusion of the healthy and the protected. Of sedate lovers. For the body has emotions it conceives and carries through without concern for anyone or anything else. Love is one of those, I guess. Going back to something very old knit into the brain as we were growing. Hopeless. Scorching. Ordinary. ”
Louise Erdrich, The Antelope Wife
“Her clothes were filled with safety pins and hidden tears.”
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
“...which causes me to wonder, my own purpose on so many days as humble as the spider's, what is beautiful that I make? What is elegant? What feeds the world?”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
“Society is like this card game here, cousin. We got dealt our hand before we were even born, and as we grow we have to play as best as we can.”
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
“...don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience...”
Louise Erdrich
“Ravens are the birds I'll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
“And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
“Now that I knew fear, I also knew it was not permanent. As powerful as it was, its grip on me would loosen. It would pass.”
Louise Erdrich, The Round House
“Other freshmen were already moving into their dormitory rooms when we arrived, with their parents helping haul. I saw boxes of paperbacks, stereo equipment, Dylan albums and varnished acoustic guitars, home-knitted afghans, none as brilliant as mine, Janis posters, Bowie posters, Day-Glo bedsheets, hacky sacks, stuffed bears. But as we carried my trunk up two flights of stairs terror invaded me. Although I was studying French because I dreamed of going to Paris, I actually dreaded leaving home, and in the end my parents did not want me to leave, either. But this is how children are sacrificed into their futures: I had to go, and here I was. We walked back down the stairs. I was too numb to cry, but I watched my mother and father as they stood beside the car and waved. That moment is a still image; I can call it up as if it were a photograph. My father, so thin and athletic, looked almost frail with shock, while my mother, whose beauty was still remarkable, and who was known on the reservation for her silence and reserve, had left off her characteristic gravity. Her face and my father's were naked with love. It wasn't something thatwe talked about—love. But they allowed me this one clear look at it. It blazed from them. And then they left.”
Louise Erdrich
“The story comes around, pushing at our brains, and soon we are trying to ravel back to the beginning, trying to put families into order and make sense of things. But we start with one person, and soon another and another follows, and still another, until we are lost in the connections.”
Louise Erdrich, The Bingo Palace

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