Gretel Ehrlich Quotes


Finally the lessons of impermanence taught me this: loss constitutes an odd kind of fullness; despair empties out into an unquenchable appetite for life.

Islands are reminders of arrivals and departures.

To trace the history of a river . . . is to trace the history of the soul the history of the mind descending and arising in the body.

Autumn teaches us that fruition is also death; that ripeness is a form of decay. The willows having stood for so long near water begin to rust. Leaves are verbs that conjugate the seasons.

The toughness I was learning was not a martyred doggedness a dumb heroism but the art of accommodation. I thought: to be tough is to be fragile; to be tender is to be truly fierce.

History is an illogical record. It hinges on nothing. It is a story that changes and has accidents and recovers with scars.

Gary Snyder's The Practice of the Wild is an exquisite far-sighted articulation of what freedom wildness goodness and grace mean using the lessons of the planet to teach us how to live.

Walking is also an ambulation of mind.

Animals give us their constant unjaded faces and we burden them with our bodies and civilized ordeals.

Ritual which could entail a wedding or brushing one's teeth goes in the direction of life. Through it we reconcile our barbed solitude with rushing irreducible conditions of life.

Turbulence like many forms of trouble cannot always be seen. We bounce so hard my arms sail helplessly above my head. In evolution wing bones became arms and hands; perhaps I'm de-evolving.

I like big open spare landscapes. There's lots of room. Nobody bothers you... I feel as if I can think there.

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful timid and dangerous lucid and muddied eddying gleaming still.

Honesty is stronger medicine than sympathy which may console but often conceals.

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.

It's no wonder human beings are so narcissistic. The way our ears are constructed we can hear only what is right next to us or else the internal monologue inside.

To rise above treeline is to go above thought and after the descent back into bird song bog orchids willows and firs is to sink into the preliterate parts of ourselves.

Perhaps despair is the only human sin.

True solace is finding none which is to say it is everywhere.

To know something then we must be scrubbed raw the fasting heart exposed.

The fog lifted in the evening and a blue-black band at the horizon marked the end of the sea and the beginning of thought. Where does a beginning begin when nothing has gone on before?

Am I like the optimist who while falling ten stories from a building says at each story I'm all right so far?

I thought: to be tough is to be fragile; to be tender is to be truly fierce.

A tree is a thought an obstruction stopping the flow of wind and light trapping water housing insects birds and animals and breathing in and out. How treelike the human how human the tree.

To long for love to have experienced passion's deep pleasure even once is to understand the mercilessness of having a human body whose memory rides desire's back unanchored from season to season.

Leaves are verbs that conjugate the seasons.

There is nothing in nature that can't be taken as a sign of both mortality and invigoration.

What Flaubert refers to as the "mélancholies du voyage" is like the sadness I feel as one season departs and another arrives.