There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.— Willa Cather
The most proven Willa Cather quotes that are little-known but priceless
Success is never so interesting as struggle
Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening.
The sky was a midnight-blue, like warm, deep, blue water, and the moon seemed to lie on it like a water-lily, floating forward with an invisible current.
Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless.
Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.
The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy;
only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.
Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
Where there is great love there are always miracles.
There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields. If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight. There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.
The test of one's decency is how much of a fight one can put up after one has stopped caring, and after one has found out that one can never please the people they wanted to please.
What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
All the intelligence and talent in the world can't make a singer.
The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity. It is a sport, like the silver fox. It happens.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.
The soul cannot be humbled by fasts and prayer;
it must be broken by mortal sin to experience forgiveness of sin and rise to a state of grace. Otherwise, religion is nothing but dead logic.
There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.
Alcohol is perfectly consistent in its effects upon man.
Drunkenness is merely an exaggeration. A foolish man drunk becomes maudlin; a bloody man, vicious; a coarse man, vulgar.
When we look back, the only things we cherish are those which in some way met our original want; the desire which formed in us in early youth, undirected, and of its own accord.
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness;
one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and hold fast to the days.
Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.
Men are all right for friends, but as soon as you marry them they turn into cranky old fathers, even the wild ones. They begin to tell you what's sensible and what's foolish, and want you to stick at home all the time. I prefer to be foolish when I feel like it, and be accountable to nobody.
Where there is great love, there are always miracles.
The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.
I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
The land belongs to the future.
Give the people a new word and they think they have a new fact.
The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
I suppose there were moonless nights and dark ones with but a silver shaving and pale stars in the sky, but I remember them all as flooded with the rich indolence of a full moon.
life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
Every fine story must leave in the mind of the sensitive reader an intangible residuum of pleasure, a cadence, a quality of voice that is exclusively the writer's own, individual, unique.
Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.
Human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life;
that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them.
Freedom so often means that one isn't needed anywhere.
Here you are an individual, you have a background of your own, you would be missed. But off there in the cities there are thousands of rolling stones like me. We are all alike; we have no ties, we know nobody, we own nothing.
The world is always full of brilliant youth which fades into grey and embittered middle age: the first flowering takes everything. The great men are those who have developed slowly, or who have been able to survive the glamour of their early florescence and to go on learning from life.
To note an artist's limitations is but to define his talent.
A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
The great fact in life, the always possible escape from dullness, was the lake.
The sun rose out of it, the day began there; it was like an open door that nobody could shut. The land and all its dreariness could never close in on you. You had only to look at the lake, and you knew you would soon be free.
The air was cool enough to make the warm sun pleasant on one's back and shoulders, and so clear that the eye could follow a hawk up and up, into the blazing blue depths of the sky.
Yes, and because we grow old we become more and more the stuff our forbears put into us. I can feel his savagery strengthen in me. We think we are so individual and so misunderstood when we are young; but the nature our strain of blood carries is inside there, waiting, like our skeleton.
The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity.
There was nothing but land; not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.
The world is little, people are little, human life is little.
There is only one big thing — desire.
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
Too much detail is apt, like any other form of extravagance, to become slightly vulgar.
Desire is creation, is the magical element in that process.
If there were an instrument by which to measure desire, one could foretell achievement.
A pioneer should have imagination, should be able to enjoy the idea of things more than the things themselves.
The condition every art requires is, not so much freedom from restriction, as freedom from adulteration and from the intrusion of foreign matter.