Rebecca Solnit Quotes


Politics is pervasive. Everything is political and the choice to be "apolitical" is usually just an endorsement of the status quo and the unexamined life.

Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing.

There are infinite shades of grey. Writing often appears so black and white.

The power of large corporations is still a scourge on the earth but at least the arguments supporting them are undermined.

People rescue each other. They build shelters and community kitchens and ways to deal with lost children and eventually rebuild one way or another.

Hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch feeling lucky.... hope is an ax you break down doors with in an emergency.

The art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone you can be rich in loss.

Never turn down an adventure without a really good reason.

Time itself is our tragedy and most of us are fighting some kind of war against it.

Women often find great roles in revolution simply because the rules fall apart and everyone has agency anyone can act.

Activism is not a journey to the corner store. It is a plunge into the unknown. The future is always dark.

Joy doesn't betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful alienated and isolated joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.

A lot of people think of political activism as some grim duty and I think we do have an obligation to be citizens - to be informed and engaged.

We are entering an era of heightened disaster thanks to climate change. Being prepared for disaster will mean being prepared to sift truth from rumour and being prepared to adjust our worldview.

The Earth we evolved to inhabit is turning into something more turbulent and unreliable at a pace too fast for most living things to adapt to.

The great majority of people are calm resourceful altruistic or even beyond altruistic as they risk themselves for others. We improvise the conditions of survival beautifully.

To say that everything without exception is going straight to hell is not an alternative vision but only an inversion of the mainstream's 'everything's fine.'

All gardening is landscape painting ' said Alexander Pope.

Walking ideally is a state in which the mind the body and the world are aligned...

A lone walker is both present and detached more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alienation.

It's hardly surprising that the corporate aliens lie when it comes to the relationship between doing something about climate change and the economy.

It's all about a war of social impulses and beliefs that is as powerful in its way as a big hurricane.

We fly; we dream in darkness; we devour heaven in bites too small to be measured.

A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.

EXPLORING the world is one of the best ways of exploring the mind and walking travels both terrains

I'm a big fan of the vigor of civil society political engagement and public life in many parts of Latin America.

Memory even in the rest of us is a shifting fading partial thing a net that doesn't catch all the fish by any means and sometimes catches butterflies that don't exist.

To be hopeful means to be uncertain about the future to be tender toward possibilities to be dedicated to change all the way down to the bottom of your heart.

Walking articulates both physical and mental freedom.

Books are solitudes in which we meet.

Revolution is a phase a mood like spring and just as spring has its buds and showers so revolution has its ebullience its bravery its hope and its solidarity. Some of these things pass.

Sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do.

Credibility is a basic survival tool.

Having the right to show up and speak are basic to survival to dignity and to liberty.

Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them.

I'm grateful that after an early life of being silenced sometimes violently I grew up to have a voice circumstances that will always bind me to the rights of the voiceless.

We talk about politicians being in public life but they seldom appear in the public space where everyone is free to appear as a citizen.

A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.

Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.

Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring. Its coming is always a surprise but its nature should not be.

No one is born a writer; literacy is a peculiar mode of being but I was all about stories from a very early age before reading.

The oil dinosaurs want to win so badly in my home state because what happens here matters everywhere. The nation often follows where California goes.

...[Cabeza de Vaca] ceased to be lost not by returning but by turning into something else.

No matter how deeply you come to know a place you can keep coming back to know it more.

To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.

Sometimes it seems that the fate of the world is decided entirely in the ether of electronic communications and corporate backroom deals.

Sense of place is the sixth sense an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.

The process of transformation consists mostly of decay.

A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.

I was not going to surrender to the status quo and corporate insistence that ordinary people have no power and influence.

Despair is easy or at least low cost.

Walking shares with making and working that crucial element of engagement of the body and the mind with the world of knowing the world through the body and the body through the world.

I see disaster everywhere; I also ["¦] see generosity and resistance everywhere.

There are disasters that are entirely manmade but none that are entirely natural.

We have a real role in how our own collective lives our nation and our world and society turn out. Seizing those opportunities is important and disasters are sometimes one of those opportunities.

Some things we have only as long as they remain lost some things are not lost only so long as they are distant.

You don't have to be a preacher to talk about what matters and you don't have to drop the pleasures of style

We have only the language for fun and miserable and maybe we need language for deep and shallow meaningful and meaningless.

There are fossils of seashells high in the Himalayas; what was and what is are different things.

A contrarian at heart I am often guided by what I disagree with and don't want.

Never to get lost is not to live not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction.

There is no one as dangerous as he or she who has nothing to lose.

I was fifteen and when I picture myself then I see flames shooting up see myself falling off the edge of the world and am amazed I survived not the outside world but the inside one.

Kindness and gentleness never had a gender and neither did empathy.

A place is a story and stories are geography and empathy is first of all an act of imagination a storyteller's art and then a way of traveling from here to there.

I walk wherever my errands take me.

The magic of the street is the mingling of the errand and the epiphany.

I don't think my work has to be loved by everyone and it's loved by enough people that I'm grateful and able to keep going.

I STILL THINK THE REVOLUTION IS TO MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FOR POETRY MEANDERING FOR THE FRAIL AND VULNERABLE THE RARE AND OBSCURE THE IMPRACTICAL AND LOCAL AND SMALL.

....there are three prerequisites to going out into the world to walk for pleasure. One must have free time a place to go and a body unhindered by illness or social restraints.

Fear of making mistakes can itself become a huge mistake one that prevents you from living for life is risky and anything less is already loss.

Modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.

How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?

Violence doesn't have a race a class a religion or a nationality but it does have a gender.

Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world just as you are making yourself and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.

Every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable.

As for me the grounds of my hope have always been that history is wilder than our imagination of it and that the unexpected shows up far more regularly than we ever dream.

Roads are a record of those who have gone before.

I sometimes wonder what those of us who are writers would become in a nonliterary culture - storytellers? Hermits?

Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone.

Before writers are writers they are readers living in books through books in the lives of others that are also the heads of others in that act that is so intimate and yet so alone.

Given a choice between their worldview and the facts it's always interesting how many people toss the facts.

Italian cities have long been held up as ideals not least by New Yorkers and Londoners enthralled by the ways their architecture gives beauty and meaning to everyday acts.

Violence always seems to me the worst form of tyranny. It deprives people of their rights including the right to live.

A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on blurring the difference between map and world.

We make ourselves large or small here or there in our empathies.

You get lost out of a desire to be lost. But in the place called lost strange things are found...

For me before I learned how to read I was really interested in story and in landscape and nature. I decided to become a writer almost as soon as I learned to read.

Space--as landscape terrain spectacle experience--has vanished.

...the questions a photographer raises may be more profound than the answers the medium permits.

Walking . . . is how the body measures itself against the earth.

Language is like a road it cannot be perceived all at once because it unfolds in time whether heard or read. This narrative or temporal element has made writing and walking resemble each other.

The things we want are transformative and we don't know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation Never to get lost is not to live.

I think that walking down the middle of the street with several thousand people who share your deepest beliefs is one of the best ways to take a walk.

I roam around a lot in my territory but what I learn at one end inflects and opens up my understanding at the other.

The promenade is a special subset of walking.

In the bare room under the old library on the hill in the town at the tip of the small peninsula on the cold island so far from everything else I lived among strangers and birds.

A procession is a participants' journey while a parade is a performance with an audience.

We know less when we erroneously think we know than when we recognize that we don't.

For me childhood roaming was what developed self-reliance a sense of direction and adventure imagination a will to explore to be able to get a little lost and then figure out the way back.

Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control over what you don't--and it surprises me even in myself how much we prefer ugly scenarios to the pure unknown.

Pain serves a purpose. Without it you are in danger. What you cannot feel you cannot take care of.

I've been gratified to see over the twenty or so years of my writing life the West become less of a colony of the East; maybe new technologies and too much travel undermine the idea of provinciality.