There is no one as dangerous as he or she who has nothing to lose.— Rebecca Solnit
The most informative Rebecca Solnit quotes that will activate your desire to change
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.
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.
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.
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 stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell.
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.
The present rearranges the past. We never tell the story whole because a life isn't a story; it's a whole Milky Way of events and we are forever picking out constellations from it to fit who and where we are.
Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.
Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring.
Its coming is always a surprise, but its nature should not be.
I walk wherever my errands take me.
Places matter. Their rules, their scale, their design include or exclude civil society, pedestrianism, equality, diversity (economic and otherwise), understanding of where water comes from and garbage goes, consumption or conservation. They map our lives.
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.
A procession is a participants' journey, while a parade is a performance with an audience.
They are all beasts of burden in a sense, ' Thoreau once remarked of animals, 'made to carry some portion of our thoughts.' Animals are the old language of the imagination; one of the ten thousand tragedies of their disappearance would be a silencing of this speech.
[In mountaineering, if] we look for private experience rather than public history, even getting to the top becomes an optional narrative rather than the main point, and those who only wander in high places become part of the story.
To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.
Stories are compasses and architecture, we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice.
There are fossils of seashells high in the Himalayas; what was and what is are different things.
Sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.
The poor have often been subversive just because they don't always believe their own depiction as brutes and loafers and leeches, and new economy is making lots more poor or recognize their fellowship with the insecurity of the poor, the portion of the population for whom the system does not work.
We are often in two places at once. In fact we are usually in at least two places and occasionally the contrast is evident....Here, most often, is nothing more than the best perspective to contemplate there.
A restlessness has seized hold of many of us, a sense that we should be doing something else, no matter what we are doing, or doing at least two things at once, or going to check some other medium. It's an anxiety about keeping up, about not being left out or getting behind.
Thinking is generally thought of as doing nothing in a production - oriented society and doing nothing is hard to do. It's best done by disguising it as doing something and the something closest to doing nothing is walking.
To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.
The power of large corporations is still a scourge on the earth, but at least the arguments supporting them are undermined now.
The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of 'real toads in imaginary gardens,' and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space...In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.
Modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought, or thoughtfulness.
Cities have always offered anonymity, variety, and conjunction, qualities best basked in by walking: one does not have to go into the bakery or the fortune-teller's, only to know that one might. 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 grew up with landscape as a recourse, with the possibility of exiting the horizontal realm of social relations for a vertical alignment with earth and sky, matter and spirit. Vast open spaces speak best to this craving, the spaces I myself first found in the desert and then in the western grasslands.
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.
In a sense the car has become a prosthetic, and though prosthetics are usually for injured or missing limbs, the auto-prosthetic is for a conceptually impaired body or a body impaired by the creation of a world that is no longer human in scale.
Lost really has two disparate meanings.
Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing.
The fight for free space-for wilderness and for public space-must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering in that space. Otherwise the individual imagination will be bulldozed over for the chain-store outlets of consumer appetite, true-crime titillations, and celebrity crises.
EXPLORING the world is one of the best ways of exploring the mind, and walking travels both terrains.
The art is not one of forgetting but letting go.
And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.
If you look at a lot of traditional societies, they're all organized along what we might call anarchist guidelines, but it's not like the Zapatistas were reading European social theory.
Every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable.
All gardening is landscape painting,' said Alexander Pope.
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.
For [Jane Austen and the readers of Pride and Prejudice], as for Mr.
Darcy, [Elizabeth Bennett's] solitary walks express the independence that literally takes the heroine out of the social sphere of the houses and their inhabitants, into a larger, lonelier world where she is free to think: walking articulates both physical and mental freedom.
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.
A lone peak of high point is a natural focal point in the landscape, something by which both travelers and local orient themselves. In the continuum of landscape, mountains are discontinuity -- culminating in high points, natural barriers, unearthly earth.
People are actually very good at being communists in the sense that they instantly abandon capitalism, that they love these relationships of mutual aid, because the astonishing thing about disasters is that people are often weirdly joyous in them, because they've recovered a sense of agency, a sense of power, etc.
A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.
I think one of the primary goals of a feminist landscape architecture would be to work toward a public landscape in which we can roam the streets at midnight, in which every square is available for Virginia Woolf to make up her novels
The famous Zen parable about the master for whom, before his studies, mountains were only mountains, but during his studies mountains were no longer mountains, and afterward mountains were again mountains could be interpreted as an alleory about [the perpetual paradox that when one is closest to a destination one is also the farthest).
A lone walker is both present and detached, more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alienation.