I will tell you something about stories . . . They aren't just entertainment. Don't be fooled. They are all we have, you see, all we have to fight off illness and death.

โ€” Leslie Marmon Silko

The most terrific Leslie Marmon Silko quotes to discover and learn by heart

The only way to get change is not through the courts or - heaven forbid - the politicians, but through a change of human consciousness and through a change of heart. Only through the arts - music, poetry, dance, painting, writing - "can we really reach each other.


The American public has difficulty believing .

.. [that] injustice continues to be inflicted upon Indian people because Americans assume that the sympathy and tolerance they feel toward Indians is somehow 'felt' or transferred to the government policy that deals with Indians. This is not the case.


relationships. That's all there really is. There's your relationship with the dust that just blew in your face, or with the person who just kicked you end over end. ... You have to come to terms, to some kind of equilibrium, with those people around you, those people who care for you, your environment.


When someone dies, you don't get over it by forgetting;

you get over it by remembering, and you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our life and loved us, as we have loved them.


Night. Heavenly delicious sweet night of the desert that calls all of us to love her. The night is our comfort with her coolness and darkness. On wings, on feet, on our bellies, out we all come to glory in the night.


What is it about us human beings that we canโ€™t let go of lost things?


I write in order to find out what I truly know and how I really feel about certain things. Writing requires me to go much deeper into my thoughts and memories than conversation does. Writing provides the solitude necessary to reflect on being in this world.


Writing cant change the world overnight, but writing may have an enormous effect over time, over the long haul.


Janice Gould is one of our best poets.

The music of her poetry will delight you, and her gentle courageous accounts of tribal, family, and personal history make this book unforgettable. Doubters and Dreamers is a master-piece.


the snow ... came in thick tufts like new wool - washed before the weaver spins it.


the material world and the flesh are only temporary - there are no sins of the flesh, spirit is everything!


Time limits are fictional. Losing all sense of time is actually the way to reality. We use clocks and calendars for convenience sake, not because that kind of time is real.


About Leslie Marmon Silko

Quotes 33 sayings
Profession Writer
Birthday March 5, 1948

Distances and days existed in themselves then;

they all had a story. They were not barriers. If a person wanted to get to the moon, there is a way; it all depended on whether you knew the directions, on whether you knew the story of how others before you had gone. He had believed in the stories for a long time, until the teachers at Indian school taught him not to believe in that kind of "nonsense". But they had been wrong.


The Indian wars have never ended in the Americas.


He made a story for all of them, a story to give them strength.

The words of the story poured out of his mouth as if they had substance, pebbles and stone extending to hold the corporal up...knees from buckling...hands from letting go of the blanket.


Because if you weren't born white, you were forced to see differences;

or if you weren't born what they called normal, or if you got injured, then you were left to explore the world of the different.


The story was the important thing and little changes here and there were really part of the story. There were even stories about the different versions of stories and how they imagined the differing versions came to be.


But sometimes what we call 'memory' and what we call 'imagination' are not so easily distinguished.


To be able to make up stories has been a great gift to me from my ancestors and from the storytellers who were so numerous at Laguna Pueblo when I was growing up. I learned to read as soon as I could because I wanted stories without having to depend on adults to tell or read stories to me.


As long as the hummingbird had not abandoned the land, somewhere there were still flowers, and they could all go on.


Anybody can act violently - there is nothing to it;

but not every person is able to destroy his enemy with words.


The truth of course was otherwise, but Lecha had never felt she owed anyone the truth, unless it was truth about their own lives, and then they had to pay her to tell them.


But as long as you remember what you have seen, then nothing is gone.

As long as you remember, it is part of this story we have together.


For a long time he had been white smoke.

He did not realize that until he left the hospital, because white smoke had no consciousness of itself. It faded into the white world of their bed sheets and walls; it was sucked away by the words of doctors who tried to talk to the invisible scattered smoke... They saw his outline but they did not realize it was hollow inside.


Being alive was all right then: he had not breathed like that for a long time.


You don't have anything if you don't have the stories.


Fortunately, her year of graduate classes prepared her for obnoxious conduct.


the ancient people perceived the world and themselves within that world as part of an ancient continuous story composed of innumerable bundles of other stories.


Moonflowers blossom in the sand hills before dawn, just as I followed him.


Then they grow away from the earth then they grow away from the sun then they grow away from the plants and the animals. They see no life. When they look they see only objects. The world is a dead thing for them the trees and the rivers are not alive. the mountains and stones are not alive. The deer and bear are objects. They see no life. They fear. They fear the world. They destroy what they fear. They fear themselves.


I don't make outlines or plans because whenever I do, they turn out to be useless. It is as if I am compelled to violate the scope of any outline or plan; it is as if the writing does not want me to know what is about to happen.


Things which don't shift and grow are dead things.