Isabel Allende Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 172 quotes)
She asked herself a thousand times why she had hungered so desperately to belong body and soul to Joaquin Andieta when truth she had never been totally happy in his arms, and could explain it only in terms of first love. She had been ready to fall in love when he came to the house to unload some cargo; the rest was instinct. She had merely obeyed the most powerful and ancient of calls, but it had happened an eternity ago and seven thousand miles away. Who she was then and what she had seen in him she could not say, only that now her heart was far away from there. Not only was she tired of looking for him but deep down she did not want to find him; at the same time, though, she could not go on riddled with doubt. She needed an ending for that phase in order to begin a new love with a clean slate
La Lowell wanted nothing; she lived for the day, unfettered, free, fearless; she wasn't afraid of poverty, loneliness, or infirmity. She accepted everything with good grace; for her, life was an entertaining voyage that inevitably led to old age and death. There was no point in accumulating wealth since in the end, she maintained, we all go to the grave in our birthday suit.
She never imagined a scenario in which her love was not returned with the same depth of feeling, for to her it was impossible to believe that a love of such magnitude could have stunned only her. The most elementary logic and justice indicated that somewhere in the city he was suffering the same delicious torment.
I began to wonder whether anything truly existed, whether reality wasn't an unformed and gelatinous substance only half-captured by my senses....If that were true, each of us was living in absolute isolation. The thought terrified me. I was consoled by the idea that I could take that gelatin and mold it to create anything I wanted...At times I felt that the universe fabricated from the power of the imagination had stronger and more lasting contours than the blurred realm of the flesh-and-blood creatures around me.
He knew that her body was his to engage in all the acrobatics he had learned in the books he kept hidden in a corner of his library, but with Clara even the most abominable contortions were like the thrashings of a newborn; it was impossible to spice them up with the salt of evil or the pepper of submission.
Every time I asked a question, that magnificent teacher, instead of giving the answer, showed me how to find it. She taught me to organise my thoughts, to do research, to read and listen, to seek alternatives, to resolve old problems with new solutions, to argue logically. Above all, she taught me not to believe anything blindly, to doubt, and to question even what seemed irrefutably true, such as man's superiority over woman, or one race or social class over another.
At times I feel as if I had lived all this before and that I have already written these very words, but I know it was not I: it was another woman, who kept her notebooks so that one day I could use them. I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously. ... That's why my Grandmother Clara wrote in her notebooks, in order to see things in their true dimension and to defy her own poor memory.
She had been born to cradle other people's children, wear their hand-me-down clothing, eat their leftovers, live on borrowed happiness and grief, grow old beneath other people's roofs, die one day in her miserable little room in the far courtyard in a bed that did not belong to her, and be buried in a common grave in the public cemetery.