Love is a conflict between reflexes and reflections.Mangnu Hirschfield
- I have been afraid of putting air in a tire ever since I saw a tractor tire blow up and throw Newt Hardbine's father over the top of the Standard Oil sign. I'm not lying. He got stuck up there. About nineteen people congregated during the time it took for Norman Strick to walk up to the Courthouse and blow the whistle for the volunteer fire department. They eventually did come with the ladder and haul him down, and he wasn't dead but lost his hearing and in many other ways was never the same afterward. They said he overfilled the tire.
- The Bean Trees (1988)
- At some point in my life I'd honestly hoped love would rescue me from the cold, drafty castle I lived in. But at another point, much earlier I think, I'd quietly begun to hope for nothing at all in the way of love, so as not to be disappointed. It works. It gets to be a habit.
- Codi Noline, Animal Dreams (1990)
- He was wounded. I suppose some sharp thing in me wanted to sting him, for making me need him now. After he'd once cut me to the edge of what a soul will bear. But that was senseless.... I looked at this grown-up Loyd and tried to make sense of him, seeing clearly that he was too sweet to survive around me. I would go to my grave expecting the weapon in the empty hand.
- Codi Noline, Animal Dreams
- A wife is the earth itself, changing hands, bearing scars.
- The Poisonwood Bible (1998)
- Her body moved with the frankness that comes from solitary habits. But solitude is only a human presumption. Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot; every choice is a world made new for the chosen. All secrets are witnessed.
- Prodigal Summer (2000)
- We're animals. We're born like every other mammal and we live our whole lives around disguised animal thoughts.
- Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.
- Every minute with a child takes seven minutes off your life.
- Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain.
- I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved.
- If we can't, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.
- It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.
- It wasn't a matter of courage or dreams, but something a whole lot simpler. A pilot would call it ground orientation. I'd spent a long time circling above the clouds, looking for life, while Hallie was living it.
- Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off.
- Life always provides me with better jokes than any I could invent.
- People's dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.
- Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.
- Terms like that, "Humane Society," are devised with people like me in mind, who don't care to dwell on what happens to the innocent.
- The important thing isn't the house. It's the ability to make it. You carry that in your brains and in your hands, wherever you go... It's one thing to carry your life wherever you go. Another thing to always go looking for it somewhere else.
- The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.
- The truth needs so little rehearsal.
- The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.
- There's a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other. I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves. But the rows were like this, dizzying, diagonal, perfectly straight, so after all it wasn't a forest but an orchard of graves. Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.
- Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work - that goes on, it adds up.
- What keeps you going isn't some fine destination but just the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive.
- What you lose in blindness is the space around you, the place where you are, and without that you might not exist. You could be nowhere at all.
- Why does a person even get up in the morning? You have breakfast, you floss your teeth so you'll have healthy gums in your old age, and then you get in your car and drive down I-10 and die. Life is so stupid I can't stand it.