If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.

— Terry Tempest Williams

The most attractive Terry Tempest Williams quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.

103

Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn, and to sing at dusk, was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.

100

The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.

72

Despair shows us the limit of our imagination.

Imaginations shared create collaboration, collaboration creates community, and community inspires social change.

65

Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.

63

What I fear and desire most in this world is passion.

I fear it because it promises to be spontaneous, out of my control, unnamed, beyond my reasonable self. I desire it because passion has color, like the landscape before me. It is not pale. It is not neutral. It reveals the backside of the heart.

51

The unexpected action of deep listening can create a space of transformation capable of shattering complacency and despair.

47

For me, it always comes back to the land, respecting the land, the wildlife, the plants, the rivers, mountains, and deserts, the absolute essential bedrock of our lives. This is the source of where my power lies, the source of where all our power lies.

47

There are two important days in a woman's life: the day she is born and the day she finds out why.

44

We are animal. We are Earth. We are water. We are a community of human beings living on this planet together. And we forget that. We become disconnected, we lose our center point of gravity, that stillness that allows us to listen to life on a deeper level and to meet each other in a fully authentic and present way.

43

Our power lies in our love of our homelands.

29

I take a deep breath and sidestep my fear and begin speaking from the place where beauty and bravery meet--within the chambers of a quivering heart.

26

About Terry Tempest Williams

Quotes 248 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday September 8, 1955

Story is the umbilical cord that connects us to the past, present, and future.

Family. Story is a relationship between the teller and the listener, a responsibility. . . . Story is an affirmation of our ties to one another.

25

Abundance is a dance with reciprocity - what we can give, what we can share, and what we receive in the process.

18

I am slowly, painfully discovering that my refuge is not found in my mother, my grandmother, of even the birds of Bear River. My refuge exists in my capacity to love. If I can learn to love death then I can begin to find refuge in change.

17

Today, I feel stronger, learning to live within the natural cycles of a day and to not expect too much of myself. As women, we hold the moon in our bellies. It is too much to ask to operate on full-moon energy three hundred and sixty-five days a year. I am in a crescent phase.

17

We can try to kill all that is native, string it up by its hind legs for all to see, but spirit howls and wildness endures.

15

I live in a very, very quiet place. I have a sequence to my creative life. In spring and fall, I am above ground and commit to community. In the summer, I'm outside. It is a time for family. And in the winter, I am underground. Home. This is when I do my work as a writer - in hibernation. I write with the bears.

15

Creativity ignited a spark. In that moment, I saw that art is not peripheral, beauty is not optional, but a strategy for survival.

13

There is something very sensual about a letter.

The physical contact of pen to paper, the time set aside to focus thoughts, the folding of the paper into the envelope, licking it closed, addressing it, a chosen stamp, and then the release of the letter to the mailbox - are all acts of tenderness.

13

Tortoise steps, slow steps, four steps like a tank with a tail dragging in the sand. Tortoise steps, land based, land locked, dusty like the desert tortoise herself, fenced in, a prisoner on her own reservation -- teaching us the slow art of revolutionary patience.

12

If you take away all the prairie dogs, there will be no one to cry for the rain.

11

I wonder about silence. Also about darkness. I love the idea that city lights are a "conspiracy" against higher thoughts.

10

To hold silence and to be silenced are two very different experiences.

And so another theme emerges, that of light and shadow. When we share our voice, who benefits? When we withhold, who benefits? And what are the consequences and costs of both?

10

When you are with a landscape or a human being where there is no need to speak, but simply to listen, to perceive, to feel.

10

I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white.

10

I speculate over some of the Anglo nomenclature of birds: Wilson's snipe, Forster's tern . . . : What natural images do these names conjure up in our minds? What integrity do we give back to the birds with our labels.

5

The birds and I share a natural history.

It is a matter of rootedness, of living inside a place for so long that the mind and imagination fuse.

5

Each horizon, each place holds its own evolutionary power be it the prairie or the plateaus, the mountains or the marshes at Great Salt Lake. For me, this is the nature of peace. Our task is to learn how to see it, feel it, hear it, and care for these places as our own home ground.

5

The sin we commit against each other as women is lack of support.

We hurt. We hurt each other. We hide. We project. We become mute or duplicitous, and we fester like boiling water until one day we erupt like a geyser. Do we forget we unravel in grief?

4

If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go.... This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future.

4

I am not so interested in religion or dogma of any kind.

It is too restrictive for me, too organizational, too hierarchical, and too tied up in power and being right. You call it a "rabid evangelism."

4

This is the sorcery of literature. We are healed by our stories.

4

A trip to the hospital is always a descent into the macabre.

I have never trusted a place with shiny floors.

4

As a writer, I have learned that each time I pick up my pencil I betray someone.

3

I still have great faith in democracy. I have great belief in the power of community.

3

What is evolution if not creative adaptation and the progression of our own souls?

3

I think wherever we are, we can create an atmosphere of openness and trust, where women and those who feel marginalized feel safe to speak the truth of their lives.

3

I wonder how it is we have come to this place in our society where art and nature are spoke in terms of what is optional, the pastime and concern of the elite?

3

To engage in civil disobedience is to feel the abundance of courage, the gratitude for a democracy that still invites us to speak from our hearts, to act from our conscience and have faith in the consequences of moral action. Abundance is a form of consciousness.

3

...if we allow ourselves contemplative time in nature-whether it's gardening, going for a walk with the dog, or being in the heart of the southern Utah wilderness-then we can hear the voice of our conscience. If we listen to that voice, it asks us to be conscious. And if we become conscious we choose to live lives of consequence.

3

Greed is a deprivation of abundance, a hoarding, a constriction of energy.

3

I can only tell where I feel most at home, which is in the erosional landscape of the red rock desert of southern Utah, where the Colorado River cuts through sandstone and the geologic history of the Earth is exposed: our home in Castle Valley.

3

We forget the nature of true power. The power within is abundance. The power without is greed.

3

Through revision, I enter the realm of the unspeakable and find the words that have eluded me.

3

As children, we had access to all the open space imaginable.

We would set up camps in rural Utah where the Tempest Company was at work laying pipe. We spent time around the West in Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado. Wild beautiful places. Now, many of these natural places have disappeared under the press of development.

3

Most of all, differences of opinion are opportunities for learning.

3

I believe the personal is the collective.

One of the ironies of writing memoir is in using the "I" it becomes an alchemical "we." This is the sorcery of literature.

3

We are aching to come together and I think it has little to do with liberal or conservative discourse. I think it has to do with increasing disconnection with what is real and soul-serving.

3
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