The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.
Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.
Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal... To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.
The positive emotions that arise in...unpromising circumstances demonstrate that social ties and meaningful work are deeply desired, readily improvised, and intensely rewarding. The very structure of our economy and society prevent these goals from being achieved.
What lies ahead seems unlikely; when it becomes the past, it seems inevitable.
Stories migrate secretly. The assumption that whatever we now believe is just common sense, or what we always knew, is a way to save face. It's also a way to forget the power of a story and of a storyteller, the power in the margins, and the potential for change.
...William Stegner...coined the term 'the geography of hope,' countering the argument that wilderness preservation served elites with the assertion that wilderness could be a place in which everyone could locate their hopefulness even if few actually entered it.
I believe in hope as an act of defiance, or rather as the foundation for an ongoing series of acts of defiance, those acts necessary to bring about some of what we hope for while we live by principle in the meantime. There is no alternative, except surrender. And surrender not only abandons the future, it abandons the soul.
We are winning,” said the graffiti in Seattle, not “We have won.” It’s a way of telling in which you can feel successful without feeling smug, in which you can feel challenged without feeling defeated.
The ability to tell your own story, in words or images, is already a victory, already a revolt.
You write your books. You scatter your seeds. Rats might eat them, or they might rot. In California, some seeds lie dormant for decades because they only germinate after fire, and sometimes the burned landscape blooms most lavishly.
To write is to carve a new path through the terrain of the imagination, or to point out new features on a familiar route. To read is to travel through that terrain with the author as a guide-- a guide one might not always agree with or trust, but who can at least be counted on to take one somewhere.
The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.
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.
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.
It's not that bad things never happen. But there's a pattern in which most people are calm, resourceful, altruistic, and they improvise emergency systems that work really well - whether it's getting the babies out of a collapsed hospital or putting together a community kitchen to feed everybody for the next few months.
I feel often that we don't have the right language to talk about emotions in disasters. Everyone is on edge, of course, but it also pulls people away from a lot of trivial anxieties and past and future concerns and gratuitous preoccupations that we have, and refocuses us in a very intense way.
Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don't. Not yet, but according to the actuarial tables, I may have another fortysomething years to live, more or less, so it could happen. Though I'm not holding my breath.
The more we heat up the planet, the more it costs all of us, not just in money, but in colossal famines, displacements, deaths, and species extinctions, as well as in the loss of some of the things that make this planet a blue-green jewel, including its specialized habitats from the melting Arctic to bleaching coral reefs.
The world you live in is not a given; much of what is best in it has been built through the struggles of passionate activists over the last centuries. They won us many freedoms and protected many beauties. Count those gifts among your growing heap.