Barry-Lopez Quotes

Enjoy the top 56 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Barry-Lopez.

Barry-Lopez Quotes

The quickest door to open in the woods for a child is the one that leads to the smallest room, by knowing the name each thing is called. The door that leads to the cathedral is marked by a hesitancy to speak to speak at all, rather to encourage by example a sharpness of the senses. If one speaks it should only be to say, as well as one can, how wonderfully all this fits together, to indicate what a long, fierce peace can derive from this knowledge. (Chaos, Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting anthology)
— Barry-Lopez —

How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.

— Barry-Lopez

I believe in all human societies there is a desire to love and be loved, to experience the full fierceness of human emotion, and to make a measure of the sacred part of one's life. Wherever I've traveled
Kenya, Chile, Australia, Japan
I've found the most dependable way to preserve these possibilities is to be reminded of them in stories. Stories do not give instruction, they do not explain how to love a companion or how to find God. They offer, instead, patterns of sound and association, of event and image. Suspended as listeners and readers in these patterns,we might reimagine our lives. It is through story that we embrace the great breadth of memory, that we can distinguish what is true, and that we may glimpse, at least occasionally, how to live without despair in the midst of the horror that dogs and unhinges us.

— Barry-Lopez

For so many centuries, the exchange of gifts has held us together. It has made it possible to bridge the abyss where language struggles.

— Barry-Lopez

Because mankind can circumvent evolutionary law, it is incumbent upon him, say evolutionary biologists to develop another law to abide by if he wishes to survive, to not outstrip his food base. He must learn restraint. He must derive some other, wiser way of behaving toward the land. He must be more attentive to the biological imperatives of the system of sun-driven protoplasm upon which he, too, is still dependent. Not because he must, because he lacks inventiveness, but because herein is the accomplishment of the wisdom that for centuries he has aspired to. Having taken on his own destiny, he must now think with critical intelligence about where to defer.

— Barry-Lopez

It is, I think, the rarest of leisure, hard work mixed with hard pleasure, to refine one's time of deep thought or light regard into the utterly self-absorbed and equally and abundantly outward-seeking shape of the personal essay
a story comprised of found fact, of analyzed emotion, of fictive memory.

— Barry-Lopez

Story, as I understood it by reading Faulkner, Hardy, Cather, and Hemingway, was a powerful and clarifying human invention. The language alone, as I discovered it in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Faulkner, was exquisitely beautiful, also weirdly and mysteriously evocative.

— Barry-Lopez

I feel that my fingers have brushed one of life's deep, coursing threads ... Speak, even notice it, and it would disappear.

— Barry-Lopez

You smell like the woods.

— Barry-Lopez

Lying there, I thought of my own culture, of the assembly of books in the library at Alexandria; of the deliberations of Darwin and Mendel in their respective gardens; of the architectural conception of the cathedral at Chartres; of Bach's cello suites, the philosophy of Schweitzer, the insights of Planck and Dirac. Have we come all this way, I wondered, only to be dismantled by our own technologies, to be betrayed by political connivance or the impersonal avarice of a corporation?

— Barry-Lopez

There are no crows in the desert. What appear to be crows are ravens. You must examine the crow, however, before you can understand the raven. To forget the crow completely, as some have tried to do, would be like trying to understand the one who stayed without talking to the one who left. It is important to make note of who has left the desert.

— Barry-Lopez

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