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Places

  • I do not think about absent persons as often or with such intense longing as I think of places. They lie one below the other in my mind ...

  • Yesterday I sat in a field of violets for a long time perfectly still, until I really sank into it — into the rhythm of the place, I mean — then when I got up to go home I couldn't walk quickly or evenly because I was still in time with the field.

  • Spirit of place! It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name. It is recalled all a lifetime, having been perceived a week, and is not scattered but abides, one living body of remembrance.

  • Dialect is the elf rather than the genius of place ...

  • One place is very like another.

  • ... you cannot know thoroughly know anything till you have both summered and wintered it ...

  • Setting ... is accident. Either a building is part of a place, or it is not. Once that kinship is there, time will only make it stronger.

  • One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering ...

  • One should never go back to a place one has loved; for, however, rough the going forward is, it is better than the snuffing out-of-love return.

  • How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you — you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences — little rags and shreds of your very life.

  • People in love, in whom every sense is open, cannot beat off the influence of a place.

  • Nothing can happen nowhere.

  • There is something always melancholy in the Idea of leaving a place for the last time. It is like burying a Friend.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1800, New Letters of Abigail Adams: 1788-1801 ()
  • ... what was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.

  • O landscape of my birth / you have never been far from my heart. / It is I who have been far. / If you will take me back / Know that I / Am yours.

    • Alice Walker,
    • "My Heart Has Reopened to You," Her Blue Body Everything We Know ()
  • I have before seen other countries, in the same manner, give themselves to you when you are about to leave them ...

  • We revisit those places where we experienced love, as pilgrims return to holy places, to be reminded, restored, and reaffirmed by them.

  • The only thing which makes one place more attractive to me than another is the quantity of heart in it ...

    • Jane Welsh Carlyle,
    • in Jane Welsh Carlyle and Thomas Carlyle, Early Letters of Jane Welsh Carlyle: Together With a Few of Later Years and Some of Thomas Carlyle ()
  • To wake for the first time in a new place can be like another birth.

  • The notion of place in which one owns and cares for a plot of land still exerts enormous influence on contemporary Americans. The extent and condition of our property, and our choice of style in dwelling, create a powerful emblem of our identity and status.

    • Deborah Tall,
    • "Dwelling: Making Peace With Space and Place," in Orion ()
  • Places I love come back to me like music, / Hush me and heal me when I am very tired ...

  • You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.

  • No mind brought into unity with the lonely places of the world but is subtly altered by them.

  • I would distinguish between a visitor and a pilgrim: both will come to a place and go away again, but a visitor arrives, a pilgrim is restored. A visitor passes through a place; the place passes through the pilgrim.

  • If a place is in your blood, you leave it at your peril. You will never be happy anywhere else.

  • How different a loved and familiar spot appears, when viewed with the eye of probable guests.

  • There is something terrible yet soothing about returning to a place where you once lived. You are one of your own memories.

  • But a place is nothing, not even space, / Unless at its heart a figure stands.

    • Amy Lowell,
    • "Thorn Piece," Ballads for Sale ()
  • ... no person will ever get into my blood as a place can ... People and things pass away, but not places.

  • Journeys start from where we are. Everything starts from where we are. Where we are is where we're supposed to be.

  • There are people who can be happy anywhere. I am not one of them.

  • ... caves so often symbolize rebirth. It's a hidden space, an expected, inscrutable space. Strange things live in there — eyeless salamanders, albino fish, a prophet's epiphanies.

  • Enchanted places have the power to change us, to germinate and nurture that tiny seed of happiness ... that each of us have kept so carefully concealed.

  • Were I called upon to offer a formula for 'the perfect moment,' I might advise to just be where you are — one of the hardest places to arrive at in the here-there-everywhere-at-the-same time world we've created.

    • Rodica Woodbury,
    • in Andrea Van Steenhouse, with Doris A. Fuller, A Woman's Guide to a Simpler Life ()
  • Southerners have a gene, as yet undetected in the DNA spirals, that causes them to believe that place is fate. Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.