200+ "Rebecca Solnit" Quotes And Sayings

I'm Rebecca Solnit, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost, River of Shadows: Women Writers of the Mississippi Delta, and many other books. I write essays, stories, blogs, and poems about violence and peace. On my website (www.rebeccasolnit.com), you can find out about my current travels around the country and the world; read my thoughts on literature, politics, design, feminism, culture; find out about my many honors; see some of the beautiful photographs I've taken; listen to my music; and learn more about what I hope to accomplish with this project.

The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood. Rebecca Solnit
Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into...
Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go. Rebecca Solnit
How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?" (Plato) The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration- how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory, about becoming someone else? . Rebecca Solnit
Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth's treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal.. To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable. . Rebecca Solnit
The positive emotions that arise in...unpromising circumstances demonstrate that social ties and meaningful work are deeply desired, readily improvised, and intensely rewarding. The very structure of our economy and society prevent these goals from being achieved. Rebecca Solnit
...William Stegner...coined the term 'the geography of hope, ' countering the argument that wilderness preservation served elites with the assertion that wilderness could be a place in which everyone could locate their hopefulness even if few actually entered it. Rebecca Solnit
Finding ways to appreciate advances without embracing complacency is a delicate task. It involves being hopeful and motivated and keeping eyes on the prize ahead. Saying that everything is fine or that it will never get any better are ways of going nowhere or of making it impossible to go anywhere. Either approach implies that there is no road out or that, if there is, you don’t need to or can’t go down it. You can. We have. Rebecca Solnit
Bush invited his constituency to be blind to the world's real problems, and leftists often do the opposite, gazing so fixedly at those problems that they cannot see beyond them. Thus it is that the world often seems divided between false hope and gratuitous despair. Despair demands less of us, it's more predictable, and in a sad way safer. Authentic hope requires clarity--seeing the troubles in this world--and imagination, seeing what might lie beyond these situations that are perhaps not inevitable and immutable. . Rebecca Solnit
To say that the emperor has no clothes is a nice anti-authoritarian gesture, but to say that everything without exception is going straight to hell is not an alternative vision but only an inverted version of the mainstream's 'everything's fine. Rebecca Solnit
Hope is not a door, but a sense that there...
Hope is not a door, but a sense that there might be a door at some point, some way out of the problems of the present moment even before that way is found or followed. Rebecca Solnit
There's a kind of activism that's more about bolstering identity than achieving results, one that sometimes seems to make the left the true heirs of the Puritans. Puritanical in that the point becomes the demonstration of one's own virtue rather than the realization of results. And puritanical because the somber pleasure of condemning things is the most enduring part of that legacy, along with the sense of personal superiority that comes from pleasure denied. The bleakness of the world is required as contrasting backdrop to the drama of their rising above. . Rebecca Solnit
Hopefulness is risky, since it is after all a form of trust, trust in the unknown and the possible, even in discontinuity. To be hopeful is to take on a different persona, one that risks disappointment, betrayal... Rebecca Solnit
Another part of the Puritan legacy is the belief that no one should have joy or abundance until everyone does, a belief that austere at one end, in the deprivation it endorses, and fantastical in the other, since it awaits a universal utopia. Joy sneaks in anyway, abundance cascades forth uninvited.. 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. . Rebecca Solnit
The revolution that counts is the one that takes place in the imagination; many kinds of change issue forth thereafter, some gradual and subtle, some dramatic and conflict-ridden--which is to say that revolution doesn't necessarily look like revolution. Rebecca Solnit
The term 'politics of prefiguration' has long been used to describe the idea that if you embody what you aspire to, you have already succeeded. That is to say, if your activism is already democratic, peaceful, creative, then in one small corner of the world these things have triumphed. Activism, in this model, is not only a toolbox to change things but a home in which to take up residence and live according to your beliefs, even if it's a temporary and local place.. Rebecca Solnit
The naively cynical measure a piece of legislation, a victory, a milestone not against the past or the limits of the possible, but against their ideas of perfection... Rebecca Solnit
For twenty years I have sat alone at a desk tinkering with sentences and then sending them out, and for most of my literary life the difference between throwing something in the trash and publishing it was imperceptible... Rebecca Solnit
I wonder sometimes what would happen if victory was imagined not just as the elimination of evil but the establishment of good... Rebecca Solnit
We inhabit, in ordinary daylight, a future that was unimaginably dark a few decades ago, when people found the end of the world easier to envision than the impending changes in everyday roles, thoughts, practices that not even the wildest science fiction anticipated. Perhaps we should not have adjusted to it so easily. It would be better if we were astonished every day. Rebecca Solnit
Stories migrate secretly. The assumption that whatever we now believe is just common sense, or what we always knew, is a way to save face. It's also a way to forget the power of a story and of a storyteller, the power in the margins, and the potential for change. Rebecca Solnit