There is no technique, there is just the way to do it. Now, are we going to measure or are we going to cook?

— Frances Mayes

The most bashful Frances Mayes quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

If you've got a plot the size of a car or a tiny yard in Italy, you're going to be growing tomatoes and basil and celery and carrots, and everybody is still connected to the land.

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Where is it written that houses must be beige? Any dun colored house would look better if painted pineapple, cream, ochre, or even a smart sage.

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Sometimes the valley below is like a bowl filled up with fog.

I can see hard green figs on two trees and pears on a tree just below me. A fine crop coming in. May summer last a hundred years.

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Venice, the most touristy place in the world, is still just completely magic to me.

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Living in a small Italian hilltown, and having lived in a small town in south Georgia, I understand that you can recognize a family gene pool by the lift of an eyebrow, or the length of a neck, or a way of walking.

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I loved every place I lived and traveled.

London, Paris, Rome, Venice. I fell hard for Central America and Mexico. In each country, I had fantasies that I could live there.

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Sometimes you have to travel back in time, skirting the obstacles, in order to love someone.

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One of those flash epiphanies of travel, the realization that worlds you'd love vibrantly exist outside your ignorance of them. The vitality of many lives you know nothing about. I could live in this town, so how is it that I've never been here before today?

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Indecision is a virus that can run through an army and destroy its will to win or even to survive.

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All afternoon in the deck chair, I try to describe to my notebook the colors of the water and sky. How to translate sunlight into words?

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Poems give you the lives of others and then circle in on your own inner world.

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The Dream Lover-what a bold, insightful, and enticing novel.

And how vigorously Elizabeth Berg brings us the iconoclastic life of George Sand. Berg writes with such intimacy and compassion that I think she must have some shared ancestral DNA with Sand. I savored every page.

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About Frances Mayes

Quotes 49 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

The Italians have their priorities right: They're driven, they do their work, but they really enjoy the day-to-day and they don't put off the enjoyment of the everyday for some future goal.

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Memory is, of course, a trickster.

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Never lose your childish enthusiasm and things will come your way.

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The longer you are in a place, the more you get under its layers.

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I got the idea that to write books would be the best way to spend a life.

I never thought of anything else that seemed like half as much fun, although in my next life I would like to be an architect, too, so I can have an easier time restoring houses.

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A Chinese poet many centuries ago noticed that to re-create something in words is like being alive twice.

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The urge to travel feels magnetic. Two of my favorite words are linked: departure time. And travel whets the emotions, turns upside down the memory bank, and the golden coins scatter.

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Anytime the perfume of orange and lemon groves wafts in the window;

the human body has to feel suffused with a languorous well-being.

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Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.

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It’s daunting to find the language so foreign, so distant, but also so thrilling. One is absolved of responsibility when the language is incomprehensible.

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I would like The Discovery of Poetry to be a field guide to the natural pleasures of language - a happiness we were born to have.

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Going to Europe as a budding cook opened my eyes to food in a different way.

When I got to Italy, the first thing I did was put my little basil plants in the ground and watch them turn into big, healthy bushes.

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Whatever a guidebook says, wether or not you leave somewhere with a sense of the place is entirely a matter of smell and instinct.

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Life offers you a thousand chances... all you have to do is take one.

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I find that other countries have this or this, but Italy is the only one that has it all for me. The culture, the cuisine, the people, the landscape, the history. Just everything to me comes together there.

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Italy's siren call lures us more and more.

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I'm just fascinated by houses. In another life, I'd have probably trained as an architect. If I had enough money, I'd collect them like other people collect teapots. I don't know why I love them so much. I'm just very interested in the idea of a house as a metaphor for the way one lives.

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the house protects the dreamer; the houses that are important to us are the ones that allow us to dream in peace. Guests we've had stop in for a night or two all come down the first morning, ready to tell their dreams.

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What has impressed me the most about the Italians whose tables we've sat at is that they are traditional cooks but also outrageously innovative. These people are wild improvisers.

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I’ll always marvel at the liveliness of southern speech-so full of metaphor and hyperbole, quirks and vividness.

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When I was twelve, I started reading Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O'Connor, James Agee, and - do we dare breathe the name - William Faulkner.

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It's kind of amazing that people will travel because of a book. I admire that.

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As travel pushes me forward, memory keeps dragging me backward.

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Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different.

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Five tender apricots in a blue bowl, a brief and exact promise of things to come.

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I was born and grew up in Fitzgerald, way down in south Georgia.

It was a mill town and my family ran the cotton mill. My grandfather was mayor many times and my family felt deeply rooted to that spot.

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The words 'forse che si,' 'forse che no', 'perhaps yes,' 'perhaps no,' repeat along all paths.

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Splendid to arrive alone in a foreign country and feel the assault of difference. Here they are all along, busy with living; they don't talk or look like me. The rhythm of their day is entirely different; I am foreign.

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The undulent landscape looks serene in every direction.

Honey-colored farmhouses, gently placed in hollows, rise like thick loaves of bread set out to cool.

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I had the urge to examine my life in another culture and move beyond what I knew.

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The Only Thing More Surprising Than the Chance She's Taking... Is Where It's Taking Her.

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Like fanning through a deck of cards, my mind flashes on the thousand chances, trivial to profound, that converged to re-create this place. Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different. Where did the expression "a place in the sun" first come from? My rational thought process cling always to the idea of free will, random event; my blood, however, streams easily along a current of fate.

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May summer last a hundred years.

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Although I am a person who expected to be rooted in one spot forever, as it has turned out I love having the memories of living in many places.

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The world cracks open for those willing to take a risk.

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After owning a pool, I think the best way to enjoy the water is to have a friend who has a pool.

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