The Dog Stars Quotes

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The Dog Stars The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
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The Dog Stars Quotes (showing 1-30 of 70)
“Is it possible to love so desperately that life is unbearable? I don't mean unrequited, I mean being in the love. In the midst of it and desperate. Because knowing it will end, because everything does. End.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
tags: love
“Grief is an element. It has its own cycle like the carbon cycle, the nitrogen. It never diminishes not ever. It passes in and out of everything.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“He's getting old. I don't count the years. I don't multiply by seven. They bred dogs for everything else, even diving for fish, why didn't they breed them to live longer, to live as long as a man?”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Funny how you can live your whole life waiting and not know it... Waiting for your real life to begin. Maybe the most real thing the end. To realize when it's too late. I know now that I loved him more than anything on earth or off of it.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“I want to be two people at once. One runs away.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“There is a pain you can’t think your way out of. You can’t talk it away. If there was someone to talk to. You can walk. One foot the other foot. Breathe in breathe out. Drink from the stream. Piss. Eat the venison strips. And. You can’t metabolize the loss. It is in the cells of your face, your chest, behind the eyes, in the twists of the gut. Muscles, sinew, bone. It is all of you.

When you walk you propel it forward. When you let the sled and sit on a fallen log and. You imagine him curling in the one patch of sun maybe lying over your feet. Then it sits with you, the Pain puts its arm over your shoulders. It is your closest friend. Steadfast. And at night you can’t bear to hear your own breath unaccompanied by another and underneath the big stillness like a score is the roaring of the cataract of everything being and being torn away. Then. The Pain is lying beside your side, close. Does not bother you with sound even of breathing.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“We have traveled.
Now you will be the path
I will walk I will walk
Over you.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“You can't metabolize the loss. It is in the cells of your face, your chest, behind the eyes, in the twists of your gut. Muscle, sinew, bone. It is all of you. When you walk you propel it forward....Then it sits with you. The pain puts its arm over your shoulders. It is your closest friend, steadfast. And at night you can't bear to hear your own breath, unaccompanied by another. And underneath the big stillness like a score, is the roaring of the cataract of everything being and being torn away. Then, the pain is lying beside your side, close. Does not bother you with the sound even of breathing.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Life and death lived inside each other. That's what occured to me. Death was inside all of us, waiting for warmer nights, a compromised system, a beetle, as in the now dying black timber on the mountains.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“How we gentle our losses into paler ghosts.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Took the end of the world to make us kings for a day.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“How you refill. Lying there. Something like happiness, just like water, pure and clear pouring in. So good you don’t even welcome it, it runs through you in a bright stream, as if it has been there all along.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“To multiply the years and divide by the desire to live is a kind of false accounting.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Meager as it is. Nothing to lose as I have. Nothing is something somehow.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“I think now that maybe true sweetness can only happen in limbo.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Funny how you can live a whole life waiting and not know it.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“It caught me sometimes: that this was okay. Just this. That simple beauty was still bearable barely, and that if I lived moment to moment, garden to stove to the simple act of flying, I could have peace.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“There is no one to tell this to and yet it seems very important to get this right. The reality and what it is like to escape it. That even now it is sometimes too beautiful to bear.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“So I wonder what it is this need to tell.
To animate somehow the deathly stillness of the profoundest beauty. Breathe life in the telling.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Sometimes back then, fishing with Jasper up the Sulphur, I hit my limit. I mean it felt my heart might just burst. Bursting is different than breaking. Like there is no way to contain how beautiful. Not it either, not just beauty. Something about how I fit. This little bend of smooth stones, the leaning cliffs. The smell of spruce. The small cutthroat making quiet rings in the black water of a pool. And no need to thank even. Just be. Just fish. Just walk up the creek, get dark, get cold, it is all a piece. Of me somehow.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Did you ever read the Bible? I mean sit down and read it like it was a book? Check out Lamentations. That's where we're at, pretty much. Pretty much lamenting. Pretty much pouring our hearts out like water.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“I think now that maybe true sweetness can only happen in limbo. I don't know why. Is it because we are so unsure, so tentative and waiting? Like it needs that much room, that much space to expand. The not knowing anything really, the hoping, the aching transience: This is not real, not really, and so we let it alone, let it unfold lightly. Those times that can fly.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“I woke sometime in the middle of the night and lay in the hammock, wriggled my foot out of the sleeping bag into the chill and found the rough ground with my bare foot and rocked myself back and forth. And watched the stars swim against the mesh of leaves. Like a fish nosing a net.

This is what we are, what we do: nose a net, push push, a net that never exists. The knots in the mesh as strong as our own believing. Our own fears.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“I once had a book on the stars but now I don't. My memory serves but not stellar, ha. So I made up constellations. I made a Bear and a Goat but maybe not where they are supposed to be, I made some for the animals that once were, the ones I know about.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“The difference maybe between the living and the dead: the living often want to be numb, the dead never do ...”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“All the choices we can't see. Every moment.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Can you fall in love through a rifle scope?”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“They bred dogs for everything else, even diving for fish, why didn’t they breed them to live longer, to live as long as a man?”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Something like laughter. That a flower could be this small, this fleeting, that a snowflake could be so large, so persistent. The improbable simplicity. I groaned. Why don't we have a word for the utterance between laughing and crying?”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
“Still, some nights I grieved. I grieved as much at what I knew must be the fleeting nature of my present happiness as any loss, any past. We lived on some edge, if we ever lived on a rolling plain. Who knew what attack, what illness. That doubleness again. Like flying: the stillness and speed, serenity and danger.”
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

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