There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.
The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.
Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
It's all very well to tell us to forgive our enemies; our enemies can never hurt us very much. But oh, what about forgiving our friends?
People live through such pain only once. Pain comes again—but it finds a tougher surface.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.
The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor.
Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet.
Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.
The old man smiled. 'I shall not die of a cold, my son. I shall die of having lived.
Some memories are realities and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
What was any art but a mold to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself- life hurrying past us and running away, to strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
Success is never so interesting as struggle
The soul cannot be humbled by fasts and prayer; it must be broken by mortal sin to experience forgiveness of sin and rise to a state of grace. Otherwise, religion is nothing but dead logic.
People can be lovers and enemies at the same time, you know.
There was nothing but land; not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.
That is happiness, to be dissolved into something complete and great.
Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
She had certain thoughts which were like companions, ideas which were like older and wiser friends.
I wondered if the life that was right for one was ever right for two!
No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.
Only a Woman, divine, could know all that a woman can suffer.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
The idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundereds of times when I dont realize it. You really are a part of me.
Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness.
Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything.
If there were no girls like them in the world, there would be no poetry
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and hold fast to the days...
Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
To fulfil the dreams of one's youth; that is the best that can happen to a man. No worldly success can take the place of that.
Freedom so often means that one isn't needed anywhere.
Prayers said by good people are always good prayers
Ah! the terror and the delight of that moment when first we fear ourselves! Until then we have not lived.
The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
The more observing ones may have seen, but discerning people are usually discreet and often kind, for we usually bleed a little before we begin to discern.
There is often a good deal of the child left in people who have had to grow up too soon.
Love itself draws on a woman nearly all the bad luck in the world
Some things are best learned in calm, others in storm.
I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody.
I do not see you as you really are, Joseph; I see you through my affection for you.
And that's what makes men happy, believing in the mystery and importance of their own individual lives.
There was a new kind of strength in the gravity of her face, and her colors still gave her that look of deep-seated health and ardor.
Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons.
The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.
Pittsburgh was even more vital, more creative, more hungry for culture than New York. Pittsburgh was the birthplace of my writing.
It's awfully easy to rush into a profession you don't really like, and awfully hard to get out of it.
If we never arrived anywhere, it did not matter. Between that earth and that sky i felt erased, blotted out. I did not say my prayers that night: here, i felt what would be would be.
Language was like clothes; it could be a help to one, or it could give one away. But the most important thing was that one should not pretend to be what one was not.
People have to snatch at happiness when they can, in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find.
Things away from home often look better than they are.
When people ask me if it has been a hard or easy road, I always answer with the same quotation, the end is nothing, the road is all.Willa Cather
Old people, who have felt blows and toil and known the world's hard hand, need, even more than children do, a woman's tenderness.
I only want impossible things," she said roughly. "The others don't interest me.
Life was so short that it meant nothing at all unless it were continually reinforced by something that endured; unless the shadows of individual existence came and went against a background that held together.
The two friends stood for a few moments on the windy street corner, not speaking a word, as two travelers, who have lost their way, sometimes stand and admit their perplexity in silence. (O Pioneers!)
A man long accustomed to admire his wife in general, seldom pauses to admire her in a particular gown or attitude, unless his attention is directed to her by the appreciative gaze of another man.
Religion is different from everything else; because in religion seeking is finding.
The land belongs to the future.
A pioneer should have imagination, should be able to enjoy the idea of things more than the things themselves.
Oh, that's the beauty of the rose, that it blossoms and dies.
I have sometimes thought that his bursts of imaginative talk were fatal to his poetic gift. He squandered too much in the heat of personal communication.
What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mold in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself.
It's by understanding me, and the boys, and mother, that you have helped me. I expect that is the only way one person ever really can help another.
Our tree became the talking tree of the fairy tale; legends and stories nestled like birds in its branches.
The end is nothing, the road is all
He knew he would always remember her, standing there with that expectant, forward-looking smile, enough to turn the future into summer.
I only knew the schoolbooks said he "died in the wilderness, of a broken heart." "More than him has done that," said Antonia sadly, and the girls murmured assent.
I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world, which could not be very far away.
It was to him a very strange and perplexing place, where people wore fine clothes and had hard hearts.
Since then she had changed so much in her thoughts, in her ways, even in her looks, that she might wonder she knew herself--except that the changes were all in the direction of becoming more and more herself.
Nothing is far and nothing is near, if one desires. The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing—desire. And before it, when it is big, all is little.
But I can't help feeling scared when I think how I will miss you- more than you will ever know.
She began to wonder whether she would not do better to finish her life alone. What was left of life seemed unimportant.
Schools are not meant to make boys happy, Cécile, but to teach them to do without happiness.
You must not begin to fret about the successes of cheap people. After all, what have they to do with you?
I had killed a big snake. I was now a big fellow.
The glorious transmutation of autumn had come on: all the vast Canadian shores were clothed with a splendour never seen in France; to which all the pageants of all the kings were as a taper to the sun.
One is best in one's own country.
Doctrine is well enough for the wise, Jean; but the miracle is something we can hold in our hands and love.
He was entirely rid of his nervous misgivings, of his forced aggressiveness, of the imperative desire to show himself different from his surroundings. He felt now that his surroundings explained him.
...how easy it would be to dream one's life out in some cleft in the world.
Her husband had archaic ideas about jewels; a man bought them for his wife in acknowledgement of things he could not gracefully utter.
The qualities of a second-rate writer can easily be defined, but the first-rate writer can only be experience. It is just the thing in him which escapes analysis that makes him first-rate.
Oh, he’s an old friend from the West,” said Eden easily. “I won’t introduce you, because he doesn’t like people. He’s a recluse. Good-bye.
The spark in his eye, which is one's very self, caught the spark in hers that was herself, and for a moment they looked into each other's natures.
We agreed that no one who had not grown up in a little prairie town could know anything about it. It was a kind of freemasonry, we said.
Her secret? It is every artist's secret--passion. That is all. It is an open secret, and perfectly safe. Like heroism, it is inimitable in cheap materials.
It was no wonder that her sons stood tall and straight. She was a rich mine of life, like the foundation of early races.
And I advise ye to think well, he told her It's better to be a stray dog in this world than a man without money. I've tried it both ways, and I know. A poor man stinks, and God hates him.
You never really knew a man, he said, until you saw him die
There is no God but one God and Art is his revealer; that’s my creed and I'll follow it to the end, to a hotter place than Pittsburgh if need be.
Avarice, he assured them, was the one passion that grew stronger and sweeter in old age.
It must have been the scarcity of detail in that tawny landscape that made detail so precious.
Don't love it so well, Clark, or it may be taken from you. Oh, dear boy, pray that whatever your sacrifice may be, it be not that.
Have the last word ma'm," he said cheerfully, "It's a lady's priviledge.
Miracles surround us at every turn, if we but sharpen our perceptions to them.