Louise Erdrich Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 79 quotes)
When she shut her eyes, her mind grew alert. Her senses opened. All around her, she felt how quickly things formed and were consumed. How there was so much blind feeling. It was going on beyond the wall of her sight, out of her control. Unheard, unnoticed, the blood dropped into her hands and feet, so that she was anchored. Which she was glad for, because the light was so feeble and the blackness so strong that she felt as though she could drift away like a boat of skin, never to return, leaving only her crumpled dress.
She slowly became convinced…that at the center of the universe not God but a tremendous deadness reigned. The stillness of a drunk God, passed out cold…She had learned of it in that house…where the drunks crashed…Things had happened to her there. She was neither raped nor robbed, nor did she experience God’s absence to any greater degree than other people did. She wasn’t threatened or made to harm anyone against her will. She wasn’t beaten, either, or deprived of speech or voice. It was, rather, the sad blubbering stories she heard in the house. Delphine witnessed awful things occurring to other humans. Worse than that, she was powerless to alter their fate. It would be that way all her life – disasters, falling like chairs all around her, falling so close they disarranged her hair, but not touching her.
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.
So many things in the world have happened before. But it's like they never did. Every new thing that happens to a person, it's a first... In that night I felt expansion, as if the world was branching out in shoots and growing faster than the eye could see. I felt smallness, how the earth divided into bits and kept dividing. I felt stars.
What are you?' he [Nanapush] said to Damien, who was deep in a meditation over his [chess] bishop's trajectory. 'A priest' said Father Damien 'A man priest or a woman priest?'... ...'I am a priest', she whispered, hoarsely, fierce. 'Why' said Nanapush kindly, as though Father Damien hadn't answered, to put the question to rest, 'are you pretending to be a man priest?
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.
Whenever you leave cleared land, when you step from some place carved out, plowed, or traced by a human and pass into the woods, you must leave something of yourself behind. It is that sudden loss, I think, even more than the difficulty of walking through undergrowth, that keeps people firmly fixed to paths. In the woods, there is no right way to go, of course, no trail to follow but the law of growth. You must leave behind the notion that things are right. Just look around you. Here is the way things are. Twisted, fallen, split at the root. What grows best does so at the expense of what's beneath. A white birch feeds on the pulp of an old hemlock and supports the grapevine that will slowly throttle it. In the dead wood of another tree grow fungi black as devil's hooves. Overhead the canopy, tall pines that whistle and shudder and choke off light from their own lower branches. (from "Revival Road")
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.
As Delphine watched, into her head there popped a strange notion: the idea that perhaps strongly experienced moments, as when Eva turned and the sun met her hair and for that one instant the symbol blazed out, those particular moments were eternal. Those moments actually went somewhere. Into a file of moments that existed out of time's range and could not be pilfered by God.