Carol Shields Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 32 quotes)
It has never been easy for me to understand the obliteration of time, to accept, as others seem to do, the swelling and corresponding shrinkage of seasons or the conscious acceptance that one year has ended and another begun. There is something here that speaks of our essential helplessness and how the greater substance of our lives is bound up with waste and opacity. Even the sentence parts seize on the tongue, so that to say „Twelve years passed“ is to deny the fact of biographical logic. How can so much time hold so little, how can it be taken from us? Months, weeks, days, hours misplaced – and the most precious time of life, too, when our bodies are at their greatest strength, and open, as they never will be again, to the onslaught of sensation.
When we think of the past we tend to assume that people were simpler in their functions, and shaped by forces that were primary and irreducible. We take for granted that our forbears were imbued with a deeper purity of purpose than we possess nowadays, and a more singular set of mind, believing, for example, that early scientists pursued their ends with unbroken „dedication“ and that artists worked in the flame of some perpetual „inspiration“. But none of this is true. Those who went before us were every bit as wayward and unaccountable and unsteady in their longings as people are today. The least breeze, whether it be sexual or psychological – or even a real breeze, carrying with it the refreshment of oxygene and energy – has the power to turn us from our path.
I won't even mention the swift, transitory reward of lemon spray wax. Danielle Westerman and I have discussed the matter of housework. Not surprisingly, she, always looking a little drisoire, believes that women have been enslaved by their possessions. Acquiring and then tending--these eat up a woman's creativity, anyone's creativity. But I've been watching the ways she arranges articles on a shelf, and how carefully she sets a table, even with it is just me coming into Toronto to have lunch in her sunroom.
Life is an endless recruiting of witnesses. It seems we need to be observed in our postures of extravagance or shame, we need attention paid to us. Our own memory is altogether too cherishing, which is the kindest thing I can say for it. Other are required, other perspectives, but even so our most important ceremonies? birth, love, and death? are secured by whomever and whatever is available. What chance, what caprice!
In one day I had altered my life; my life, therefore, was alterable. This simple axiom did not call out for exegesis; no, it entered my bloodstream directly, as powerful as heroin. I could feel it pump and surge, the way it brightened my veins to a kind of glass. I had wakened that morning to narrowness and predestination and now I was falling asleep in the storm of my own free will.
He was discomfited to see how easily men (and women as well) stepped from the train to station platform, from platform to train? with ease, with levity, laughing and talking and greeting each other as though oblivious to the abrupt geographical shifts they were making, and disrespectful of the distance and differences they entered. Many were hatless, their clothes brightly colored. The cases they carried appeared, from the way they handled them, to be feather-light.