Carol Shields Famous Quotes & Sayings

85 Carol Shields Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

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Whenever I meet anyone new, I don't say, "Tell me about your belief system." I say, "Tell me about your average day". Carol Shields Sayings: Whenever I meet anyone new, I don't say, "Tell me about your belief system." I
He knows very well what underlies the compulsive side of his nature; it is the wish to escape that which he can't comprehend, seeking safety in an unbendable estrangement. Carol Shields Sayings: He knows very well what underlies the compulsive side of his nature; it is the
Things begin, things end. Just when we seem to arrive at a quiet place, we are swept up, suddenly, between the body's smoothe, functioning predictability, and the need for disruption. We do irrational things, outrageous things. Or else something will come along and intervene, an unimaginable foe. Carol Shields Sayings: Things begin, things end. Just when we seem to arrive at a quiet place, we
I remember that I did feel, starting my mini-tour, the resident anxiety you develop when you know you've been too lucky; at any moment, maybe next Tuesday afternoon, I would be stricken with something unbearable. Carol Shields Sayings: I remember that I did feel, starting my mini-tour, the resident anxiety you develop when
This is why I read novels: so I can escape my own unrelenting monologue. Carol Shields Sayings: This is why I read novels: so I can escape my own unrelenting monologue.
I don't think I would have been a writer if I hadn't been a mother. I wanted to construct something that contained some of these feelings that I had, some of these discoveries or revelations. Carol Shields Sayings: I don't think I would have been a writer if I hadn't been a mother.
Nothing she did
or said
was quite
what she meant
but still her life
could be called a monument
shaped in a slant
of available light
and set to the movement
of possible music
Carol Shields Sayings: Nothing she didor saidwas quitewhat she meantbut still her lifecould be called a monumentshaped in
It's like concentrating on your own breath: once you start thinking about the air rushing in and out of your body, your breath has a way of getting stuck in your throat so that you understand how easy it would be to fall down and die. Carol Shields Sayings: It's like concentrating on your own breath: once you start thinking about the air rushing
Our friendship is made up of these brief frenzied exchanges, but the quality of our conversation, for all its feverish outpouring, is genuine. Carol Shields Sayings: Our friendship is made up of these brief frenzied exchanges, but the quality of our
This last year she has been in danger of becoming an eccentric or else one of those persons who does not bother to put a saucer under her cup. Carol Shields Sayings: This last year she has been in danger of becoming an eccentric or else one
Question your assumptions, be kind to yourself, live for the moment, loosen up, pray, scream, curse the world, count your blessings, just let go, just be. Carol Shields Sayings: Question your assumptions, be kind to yourself, live for the moment, loosen up, pray, scream,
In one day I had altered my life; my life, therefore, was alterable. This simple axiom did not call out for exegesis; no, it entered my bloodstream directly, as powerful as heroin. I could feel it pump and surge, the way it brightened my veins to a kind of glass. I had wakened that morning to narrowness and predestination and now I was falling asleep in the storm of my own free will. Carol Shields Sayings: In one day I had altered my life; my life, therefore, was alterable. This simple
I presented him with an African violet, which I saw as symbolically useful, though I'm not sure the others understood the subtleties. (African violets must be watered from the bottom, not the top, and this, I believe, is analogous to the writing of sonnets in the twenty-first century.) Carol Shields Sayings: I presented him with an African violet, which I saw as symbolically useful, though I'm
How does a poet know when a poem is ended? Because it lies flat, taut; nothing can be added or subtracted. How does a woman know when a marriage is over? Because of the way her life suddenly shears off in just two directions: past and future. Carol Shields Sayings: How does a poet know when a poem is ended? Because it lies flat, taut;
It occurs to her that she should record this flash of insight in her journal - otherwise she is sure to forget, for she is someone who is always learning and forgetting and obliged to learn again ... Carol Shields Sayings: It occurs to her that she should record this flash of insight in her journal
I was the breakable one. Women always are. It's not so much a question of one big disappointment, though. It's more like a thousand little disappointments raining down on top of each other. After a while it gets to seem like a flood, and the first thing you know you're drowning. Carol Shields Sayings: I was the breakable one. Women always are. It's not so much a question of
I am not at peace.' Daisy Goodwill's final (unspoken) words. Carol Shields Sayings: I am not at peace.' Daisy Goodwill's final (unspoken) words.
What I'd like is a lobotomy, a clean job, the top of my head neatly sawn off and designated contents removed. Carol Shields Sayings: What I'd like is a lobotomy, a clean job, the top of my head neatly
Men, it seemed to me in those days, were uniquely honored by the stories that erupted in their lives, whereas women were more likely to be smothered by theirs. Carol Shields Sayings: Men, it seemed to me in those days, were uniquely honored by the stories that
The expression terminal, when the doctor first pronounced it, had struck Meershank with a comic bounce, this after a lifetime of pursuing puns for a living. His scavenger self immediately pictured a ghostly airline terminal in which scurrying men and women trotted briskly to and fro in hospital gowns. Carol Shields Sayings: The expression terminal, when the doctor first pronounced it, had struck Meershank with a comic
She herself loved the character of Elizabeth Bennet. I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know. Carol Shields Sayings: She herself loved the character of Elizabeth Bennet. I must confess that I think her
Time and chance. The twin offspring of destiny. That wondrous branching of our fates. Carol Shields Sayings: Time and chance. The twin offspring of destiny. That wondrous branching of our fates.
He [Tom Avery] is acutely, palpably afraid of Friday nights, what to do with them, those gaping, sneering, and stubbornly recurring widths of time - how to accommodate them, fill them, use them, annihilate them. He'd do anything to sidestep a Friday night. Friday nights demand conviviality and expenditure. It's the time to let loose (yeah, sure). Carol Shields Sayings: He [Tom Avery] is acutely, palpably afraid of Friday nights, what to do with them,
To be a romantic is to believe anything can happen to us. Carol Shields Sayings: To be a romantic is to believe anything can happen to us.
Love is not, anywhere, taken seriously. It's not respected. It's the one thing in the world everyone wants, but for some reason people are obliged to pretend that love is trifling and foolish. Carol Shields Sayings: Love is not, anywhere, taken seriously. It's not respected. It's the one thing in the
Either we're all ordinary, or else none of us is ordinary. Carol Shields Sayings: Either we're all ordinary, or else none of us is ordinary.
Practically all girls are capable of pulling off the
Lady Love stunt before marriage but alas, only too
many of them think a wedding ring gives them the
right to flop down on the do-nothing stool, get fat
and eat onions... When a man see his beauteous
pride slouching around the house in a soiled house-
coat with cold cream on her face, he feels he got
cheated at the altar.
Too often after the first baby, [women] cease
being wives and are only mothers... giving all their
tenderness to Junior and letting poor husband go
heart-hungry.
Carol Shields Sayings: Practically all girls are capable of pulling off theLady Love stunt before marriage but alas,
I like to chant a couple of lines of poetry into the ozone layer every day or so, another caller says. Carol Shields Sayings: I like to chant a couple of lines of poetry into the ozone layer every
We are too kind, too willing
too unwilling too
reaching out blindly with a grasping hand but not knowing how to ask for what we don't even know we want.
Carol Shields Sayings: We are too kind, too willingtoo unwilling tooreaching out blindly with a grasping hand but
Happiness is the lucky pane of glass you carry in your head. It takes all your cunning just to hang on to it, and once it's smashed you have to move into a different sort of life. Carol Shields Sayings: Happiness is the lucky pane of glass you carry in your head. It takes all
There are chapters in every life which are seldom read, and certainly not aloud. Carol Shields Sayings: There are chapters in every life which are seldom read, and certainly not aloud.
It grieved him to think of that paltry, guarded, nut-like thing that was his artistic reputation. Carol Shields Sayings: It grieved him to think of that paltry, guarded, nut-like thing that was his artistic
A woman's life isn't worth a plateful of cabbage if she hasn't felt life stir under her heart. Taking a little one to nurse, watching him grow to manhood, that's what love is. Carol Shields Sayings: A woman's life isn't worth a plateful of cabbage if she hasn't felt life stir
He had been relfecting, while staring at the fringed blue petals, about love, about the long steady way his imperfect parents managed to love each other, and about his own deficient love for Dorrie, how it came and went, how he kept finding it and losing it again.
And now, here in this garden maze, getting lost, and then found, seemed the whole point, that and the moment of willed abandonment, the unexpected rapture of being blindly led.
Carol Shields Sayings: He had been relfecting, while staring at the fringed blue petals, about love, about the
So this is where the years of maturity deliver us - to this needy, selfish, unwieldy wish to be somebody else's first and primal other. Carol Shields Sayings: So this is where the years of maturity deliver us - to this needy, selfish,
Open a book this minute and start reading. Don't move until you've reached page fifty. Until you've buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Sayings: Open a book this minute and start reading. Don't move until you've reached page fifty.
Eventually, everything gets stuck between a pair of parentheses or buried in the bottom of a trunk. Carol Shields Sayings: Eventually, everything gets stuck between a pair of parentheses or buried in the bottom of
Write the book you want to read, the one you cannot find. Carol Shields Sayings: Write the book you want to read, the one you cannot find.
Have you ever looked at, say, a picture or a great building or read a paragraph in a book and felt the world suddenly expand and, in the same instant, contract and harden into a kernel of perfect purity? Do you know what I mean? Everything suddenly fits, everything's in its place. Carol Shields Sayings: Have you ever looked at, say, a picture or a great building or read a
Nothing matters except for the harvest, the gathering in, the adding up, the bringing together, the whole story, the way it happens and happens and goes on happening.
(from "Collision")
Carol Shields Sayings: Nothing matters except for the harvest, the gathering in, the adding up, the bringing together,
Safety was one thing, but what he really wanted was to be electrified, to be wounded, to be cast into the wilderness, to be released, to be exalted, and most especially to be surrounded by the drowning noise and ebullience and casual presence of friends calling out his name, demanding his presence. Carol Shields Sayings: Safety was one thing, but what he really wanted was to be electrified, to be
His voice, you might say, became the place where he lived, the way other people live in their furniture or gestures Carol Shields Sayings: His voice, you might say, became the place where he lived, the way other people
He dares not concern himself with the future for fear of disturbing the present. Carol Shields Sayings: He dares not concern himself with the future for fear of disturbing the present.
It can be seen as a discussion of the nature of evidence - the way in which there is no single truth about anyone's life, but as many truths as there are observers. Carol Shields Sayings: It can be seen as a discussion of the nature of evidence - the way
He observed how his feet chose each wrong turning, working against his navigational instincts, circling and repeating, and bringing on a feverish detachment. Someone older than himself paced inside his body, someone stronger too, cut loose from the common bonds of sex, of responsibility. Looking back he would remember a brief moment when time felt mute and motionless. This hour of solitary wandering seemed a gift, and part of the gift was an old greedy grammar flapping in his ears: lost, more lost, utterly lost. He felt the fourteen days of his marriage collapsing backward and becoming an invented artifact, a curved space he must learn to fit into. Love was not protected. No, it wasn't. It sat out in the open like anything else. Carol Shields Sayings: He observed how his feet chose each wrong turning, working against his navigational instincts, circling
The silence is perfect, and yet a torment ... Carol Shields Sayings: The silence is perfect, and yet a torment ...
In a long and healthy life, which is what most of us have, there is plenty of time. Carol Shields Sayings: In a long and healthy life, which is what most of us have, there is
She's always busy, too busy, and is always reminding herself of this fact, so that the notion of an empty apartment, even an empty bed, holds no more than faint flush of alarm. And only when she thinks about it ... She'll manage, though. She knows she will. Carol Shields Sayings: She's always busy, too busy, and is always reminding herself of this fact, so that
He wondered exactly how lost a person could get. Lost at sea, lost in the woods. Fatally lost. Carol Shields Sayings: He wondered exactly how lost a person could get. Lost at sea, lost in the
Despair did not suit her looks. Goodness cannot cope with badness - it's too good, you see, too stupidly good. Carol Shields Sayings: Despair did not suit her looks. Goodness cannot cope with badness - it's too good,
These hips are mighty hips.
These hips are magic hips.
I have known them
to put a spell on a man
and spin him like a top
Carol Shields Sayings: These hips are mighty hips.These hips are magic hips.I have known themto put a spell
This was during a period in my reading life when I was given to understand that "relating" to the fictional characters or situation was of prime importance, and so I read, I'm sorry to say, narrowly, frugally, unadventurously, as though I had no interest in the greater world and no desire to experience other cycles of thinking and being. This idea of "relating", or identifying, was encouraged by my teachers and even, I believe, by the critical theories of the day. Naive as it may sound, one read fiction in order to confirm the reality of one's experience. Carol Shields Sayings: This was during a period in my reading life when I was given to understand
It is miracle enough to find that love lies in his grasp, that it can be spoken aloud, that he, so diffident, so slow, so thwarted by the poverty of his own beginnings, is able to put into words the fevers of his heart and at the same time offer up the endearments a woman needs to hear. The knowledge shocked him at first, how language flowed straight out of him like a river in flood, but once the words burst from his throat it was as though he had found his true tongue. He cannot imagine, thinking back, why he had believed himself incapable of passionate expression. Carol Shields Sayings: It is miracle enough to find that love lies in his grasp, that it can
Dreaming her way backward in time, resurrecting images, the young girl realized, with wonder, that the absent are always present, that you don't make them go away simply because you get on a train and head off in a particular direction. Carol Shields Sayings: Dreaming her way backward in time, resurrecting images, the young girl realized, with wonder, that
For some, religion is the cement that seals shut their door on the world Carol Shields Sayings: For some, religion is the cement that seals shut their door on the world
It's hard work being a person, you have to do it every single day. Carol Shields Sayings: It's hard work being a person, you have to do it every single day.
Curiously, she is not afraid, knowing as she does that love is mostly the avoidance of hurt, and furthermore, she is accustomed to obstacles, and how they can be overcome by readjusting her glance or crowding her concerns into a shadowy corner. Carol Shields Sayings: Curiously, she is not afraid, knowing as she does that love is mostly the avoidance
... it's occurred to her that there are millions, billions, of other men and women in the world who wake up early in their separate beds, greedy for the substance of their own lives, but obliged every day to reinvent themselves. Carol Shields Sayings: ... it's occurred to her that there are millions, billions, of other men and women
From surfeit to loss is a short line. Carol Shields Sayings: From surfeit to loss is a short line.
Women were supposed to be strong, but they weren't really, they weren't allowed to be. Carol Shields Sayings: Women were supposed to be strong, but they weren't really, they weren't allowed to be.
It's the arrangement of events which makes the stories. It's throwing away, compressing, underlining. Hindsight can give structure to anything, but you have to be able to see it. Breathing, waking and sleeping: our lives are steamed and shaped into stories. Knowing that is what keeps me from going insane, and though I don't like to admit it, sometimes it's the only thing. Carol Shields Sayings: It's the arrangement of events which makes the stories. It's throwing away, compressing, underlining. Hindsight
A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it. It leaves behind no fossils, except perhaps in fiction. Carol Shields Sayings: A childhood is what anyone wants to remember of it. It leaves behind no fossils,
Why should men be allowed to strut under the privilege of their life adventures, wearing them like a breast full of medals, while women went all gray and silent beneath the weight of theirs? Carol Shields Sayings: Why should men be allowed to strut under the privilege of their life adventures, wearing
Bookish people, who are often maladroit people, persist in thinking they can master any subtlety so long as it's been shaped into acceptable expository prose. Carol Shields Sayings: Bookish people, who are often maladroit people, persist in thinking they can master any subtlety
The recounting of a life is a cheat ... even our own stories are obscenely distorted ... Carol Shields Sayings: The recounting of a life is a cheat ... even our own stories are obscenely
I'm concerned about the unknowability of other people. Carol Shields Sayings: I'm concerned about the unknowability of other people.
Beauty takes courage. Courage itself takes courage. Carol Shields Sayings: Beauty takes courage. Courage itself takes courage.
Boiled down, isn't love just a form of vanity? You know, the wish to be adored. To be the absolute center for someone else. Carol Shields Sayings: Boiled down, isn't love just a form of vanity? You know, the wish to be
A thought comes into her head: that lately she doesn't ask herself what is possible, but rather what possibilities remain. Carol Shields Sayings: A thought comes into her head: that lately she doesn't ask herself what is possible,
The scolding voice is her own, so abrasive and quick, yet so powerless to move her. Carol Shields Sayings: The scolding voice is her own, so abrasive and quick, yet so powerless to move
I don't know how to get things started ... It's like there's this great big wheel I've got to start rolling only I don't seem to have the muscles to get it going. Carol Shields Sayings: I don't know how to get things started ... It's like there's this great big
And yet, within her anxiety, secured there like a gemstone, she carries the cool and curious power of occasionally being able to see the world vividly. Clarity bursts upon her a spray of little stars. She understands this, and thinks of it as one of the tricks of consciousness; there is something almost luxurious about it.. The narrative maze opens and permits her to pass through. She may be crowded out of her own life - she knows this for a fact and has always know it - but she possesses, as a compensatory gift, the startling ability to draft alternative versions. Carol Shields Sayings: And yet, within her anxiety, secured there like a gemstone, she carries the cool and
Dorrie gave Larry's hand an excited, distracted squeeze that said: almost home. They were about to be matter-of-factly claimed by familiar streets and houses and the life they'd chosen or which had chosen them. Carol Shields Sayings: Dorrie gave Larry's hand an excited, distracted squeeze that said: almost home. They were about
Words are our life. We are human because we use language. So I think we are less human when we use less language. Carol Shields Sayings: Words are our life. We are human because we use language. So I think we
A woman says: I plan to cut the shoulder pads out of all my blouses and dresses and load them on a barge and dump them in Lake Winnipeg, creating a tidal wave which I'm told can be harnessed to provide electric power to the entire region. Carol Shields Sayings: A woman says: I plan to cut the shoulder pads out of all my blouses
Here's to another year and let's hope it's above ground. Carol Shields Sayings: Here's to another year and let's hope it's above ground.
The larger loneliness of our lives evolves from our unwillingness to spend ourselves, stir ourselves. We are always damping down our inner weather, permitting ourselves the comforts of postponement, of rehearsals Carol Shields Sayings: The larger loneliness of our lives evolves from our unwillingness to spend ourselves, stir ourselves.
His father, that austere, unfeeling and untutored man, had insisted his sons polish their boots every evening. Flett has learned to be grateful for this early discipline. It kept him breathing as a boy, provided a pulse, gave order to vast incomprehension. Later he found other ways. Carol Shields Sayings: His father, that austere, unfeeling and untutored man, had insisted his sons polish their boots
The men, her husband and sons, leave for the quarry at seven o'clock sharp and return at five. What do they imagine she does all day? It makes her shiver to think of it, how not one pair of eyes can see through the roof and walls of her house and regard her as she moves through her dreamlike days, bargaining from minute to minute with indolence, that tempter. Carol Shields Sayings: The men, her husband and sons, leave for the quarry at seven o'clock sharp and
These are frightening times ... when she feels herself annointed by loneliness. Carol Shields Sayings: These are frightening times ... when she feels herself annointed by loneliness.
I couldn't have been a novelist without being a mother. It gives you a unique witness point of the growth of a personality. It was a kind of biological component for me that had to come first. My children gave this other window on the world. Carol Shields Sayings: I couldn't have been a novelist without being a mother. It gives you a unique
Routine is liberating, it makes you feel in control. Carol Shields Sayings: Routine is liberating, it makes you feel in control.
I've had lots of happy moments. I've been lucky. But I always think the happiest moment hasn't happened yet. I'm talking about the queen of happy moments. The biggie. The unfathomable. The epitome of happiness. The only thing is, I worry that when it comes along I won't recognize it. It'll be flashing away there at the edge of my vision and I'll be looking so hard that I'll just let it float right by. Carol Shields Sayings: I've had lots of happy moments. I've been lucky. But I always think the happiest
Anyone's childhood can be an act of disablement if rehearsed and replayed and squinted at in a certain light ... Carol Shields Sayings: Anyone's childhood can be an act of disablement if rehearsed and replayed and squinted at
The recounting of a life is a cheat, of course. Carol Shields Sayings: The recounting of a life is a cheat, of course.