Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jim Harrison Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jim Harrison.

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Jim Harrison Quotes 1651968

I've never felt influenced by Ernest Hemingway though I suppose there is something inevitable there. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 707003

In a life properly lived, you're a river, — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1921286

I can write anywhere. — Jim Harrison

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I find it impossible not to believe that there's something in Irish blood that favors their power with words. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1766274

Yeah, but now suddenly - you know, universities are notoriously market oriented, too. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 2199311

Goddamn but her mind was so exhausted with trying to hold the world together, tired of being the living glue for herself, as if she let go, great pieces of her life would shatter and fall off in mockery of the apocalypse. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1865676

He picked up Samuel's saddle as if he were picking up doom herself, doom always owning the furthest, darkest reaches of the feminine gender. Pandora, Medusa, the Bacchantes, the Furies, are female though small goddesses beyond sexual notions. Who reasons death anymore than they can weigh the earth or the heart of beauty? — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1727997

I'd rather get a brain tumor than go back to teaching. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1810028

How wonderful it was to love something without the compromise of language. — Jim Harrison

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I don't see gender as the most significant fact of human existence. — Jim Harrison

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I rarely read or buy a book because of a review. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1715783

The fatherless son had two new moons in his forty days in the wilderness, the second one telling him it was time to become God and enter the beast of history. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 890337

The Statue of Liberty, that frequently malevolent bitch, has an enormous tumor in her gut that has spread to her brain and eyes. With regard to the Native Americans she has Alzheimer's or mad cow disease and can't remember her past, and her blind eyes can't see the terrifying plight of most of the Indian tribes. Meanwhile she blows China and stomps Cuba to death, choosing to forget the Native cultures she has already destroyed. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 77373

Dad said I would always be "high minded and low waged" from reading too much Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe he was right. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 653851

In Ecuador the Indian mate was too poor to buy Polaroid glasses but he saw the caudal fins of marlin long before my perfect eyes noticed anything. Benny played pool as if the cue stick emerged from his body. Not my alcohol & geometry. She was an asshole and I couldn't have loved her at gunpoint. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1828762

We set this house on fire forgetting that we live within. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1601784

I don't know what psychotherapy does. I have been seeing the same person for 26 years now. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 407309

Success and money can really be quite blinding. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1277787

Because most writers have totally unrealistic concepts of how publishing works. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 992021

The wilderness does not make you forget your normal life so much as it removes the distractions for proper remembering. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 973532

He looked around the clearing in recognition that he was lost but didn't mind because he knew he had never been found. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 86243

I prefer the skyline
of a shelf of books. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 301245

Suits obviously had helped to promote bad government and he was as guilty as anyone for wearing them so steadfastly for twenty years. Of late he had become frightened of the government for the first time in his life, the way the structure of democracy had begun debasing people rather than enlivening them in their mutual concern. The structure was no longer concerned with the purpose for which it was designed, and a small part of the cause, Nordstrom thought, was probably that all politicians and bureaucrats wore suits. — Jim Harrison

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I remember my grandfather telling me how each of us must live with a
full measure of loneliness that is inescapable, and we must not destroy
ourselves with our passion to escape the aloneness. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1500880

Nothing so much torments a geezer as the thought of the unlived life. — Jim Harrison

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The fact is, the media never gets off the interstate unless there's a major explosion. — Jim Harrison

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I thought, frankly, that it would be more pleasant to write a memoir than it was. — Jim Harrison

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Children, those lucky ones to whom clocks are of no consequence but who drift along on the true emotional content of time. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 103985

Trying to teach creativity is the major hoax of our time along with the Iraq war and plastic surgery"
~ Snarky comment of Clive from "The River Swimmer" (pg 47) — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 406646

Zen is the vehicle of reality. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1674400

But then that's an appropriate response to death?' I interrupted.
'There isn't a singular response. You keep on truckin', as that cartoonist Crumb said. You're probably having a thousand responses a day because your brain simply can't stop trying to comprehend what has happened to you. It's the largest question mark we deal with in life and no responses will make it go away. We envy the devout who experience the pain but have a surefire explanation. — Jim Harrison

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Fishing tournaments seem a little like playing tennis with living balls ... — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 87604

I write novellas because I don't like loose sprawling prose. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 113821

Never before have the American people had their noses so deeply in one another's business. If I announce that I and eleven other diners shared a thirty-seven-course lunch that likely cost as much as a new Volvo station wagon, Those of a critical nature will let their minds run in tiny, aghast circles of condemnation. My response to them is that none of us twelve disciples of gourmandise wanted a new Volvo. We wanted only lunch and since lunch lasted approximately eleven hours we saved money by not having to buy diner. The defense rests. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 156862

Now that she's at one with herself and the world she can work my brain over with high horsepower energy. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 213437

The old fun thing is when somebody typed up the first chapter of War and Peace. And then made a precis of the rest of it and sent it out and only one publisher recognized it. — Jim Harrison

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When we were children we were errant enough to wish to be birds for the day but there's nothing easier to lose than playfulness. — Jim Harrison

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Strangely, when I totally emerged from this slump I couldn't comprehend how I had almost drowned it it. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 391662

She wasn't trying to overcome life, only to get along with it, to blend with the processes she could scarcely understand in a world that had permitted her no solid ground. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 392769

A movement in the vines startled her and an opossum scurried out, looked at Clare and flopped over in fake death. She had seen this twice before in her garden back home and it was difficult not to draw certain parallels, amusing ones, though if you played dead long enough the act of coming back to life was questionable. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 424024

This infantile sense of order tended to infect my life at large. Up at 5:30 a.m., coffee, oatmeal, perhaps sausage (homemade), and fresh eggs giving one of the yolks to Lola. Listening to NPR and grieving more recently over the absence of Bob Edwards who was the sound of morning as surely as birds. Reading a paragraph or two of Emerson or Loren Eiseley to raise the level of my thinking. Going out to feed the cattle if it was during our six months of bad weather. — Jim Harrison

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The trajectory started when I was on the roof of our house looking out at a swamp when I was 19. I had written for several years, starting at about 15, but that day on the roof I took my vows and acknowledged my calling. — Jim Harrison

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As an English major I was familiar with the stories of dozens of writers trying to get their work done among the multifarious diversions of the world and the hurdles of their own vices. A professor had said that what saved writers is that they, like politicians, had the illusion of destiny that allowed them to overcome obstacles no matter how nominal their work. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 533749

I hope to define my life, whatever is left, by migrations, south and north with the birds and far from the metallic fever of clocks, the self staring at the clock saying, "I must do this." I can't tell the time on the tongue of the river in the cool morning air, the smell of the ferment of greenery, the dust off the canyon's rock walls, the swallows swooping above the scent of raw water. — Jim Harrison

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After a lifetime of world travel I've been fascinated that those in the third world don't have the same perception of reality that we do. — Jim Harrison

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We think of life as solid and are haunted when time tells us it is a fluid. Old Heraclitus couldn't have stepped in the same river once, let alone twice. — Jim Harrison

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Short things are short all over and long things are long all over. — Jim Harrison

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I wonder, when a writer's blocked and doesn't have any resources to pull himself out of it, why doesn't he jump in his car and drive around the U.S.A.? I went last winter for seven thousand miles and it was lovely. Inexpensive, too. — Jim Harrison

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Sitting there on the deck during intermittent periods of dozing I thought that it's really hard on a soul to admit how much of life we have spent being full of shit. — Jim Harrison

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The world gave one so many reasons to be pissed off at it. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 680749

We are all naturally xenophobic. — Jim Harrison

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Fishing makes us less the hostages to the horrors of making a living. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 690697

Perhaps swimming was dancing under the water, he thought. To swim under lily pads seeing their green slender stalks wavering as you passed, to swim under upraised logs past schools of sunfish and bluegills, to swim through reed beds past wriggling water snakes and miniature turtles, to swim in small lakes, big lakes, Lake Michigan, to swim in small farm ponds, creeks, rivers, giant rivers where one was swept along easefully by the current, to swim naked alone at night when you were nineteen and so alone you felt like you were choking every waking moment, having left home for reasons more hormonal than rational; reasons having to do with the abstraction of the future and one's questionable place in the world of the future, an absurdity not the less harsh for being so widespread. — Jim Harrison

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Birthdays are ghost bounty hunters that track you down to ask, Que pasa, baby? — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 737114

It is easy to forget that in the main we die only seven times more slowly than our dogs. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 763451

We Americans are trained to think big, talk big, act big, love big, admire bigness but then the essential mystery is in the small. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 770144

(from: Age Sixty-nine)
There is this circle I walk
that I have learned to love.
I hope one day to be a spiral
but to the birds I'm a circle. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 814729

(from: Age Sixty-nine)
Often, lately, the night is a cold maw
and stars the scattered white teeth of the gods, which spare none of us. At dawn I have birds, clearly divine messengers that I don't understand
yet day by day feel the grace of their intentions. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 821649

[ ... ] I finally understood that death and numbers don't cohere. Everyone is 'one.' An accident report might say that nine died, four of them in their teens, but each death was 'one.' Each of six million Jews was 'one.' With death it is a series of 'ones. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 838640

Nothing on my trip thus far was as I expected which shows you that rather than simply read about the United States you have to log the journey. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 847409

I did not want to live out my life in the strenuous effort to hold a ghost world together. It was plain as the stars that time herself moved in grand tidal sweeps rather than the tick-tocks we suffocate within, and that I must reshape myself to fully inhabit the earth rather than dawdle in the sump of my foibles. — Jim Harrison

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his theory that all of the world's problems were caused by notions of ethnic virtue and that if marriages were limited to interracial lovers there would be peace on earth. There — Jim Harrison

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The answer is always in the entire story, not a piece of it. — Jim Harrison

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He had always thought that a Native American should have shot Robert Frost for the outrageous lie of the line "The land was ours before we were the land's." What a scandal that would be, America's best-loved geezer falling in a battle over poetry. — Jim Harrison

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To the white people, among whom I helplessly number myself, life is a very long and high set of stairs, but to my mother life was a river, a slow and stately wind across the sky, an endless sea of grass. — Jim Harrison

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I used to get criticized for putting food in novels. — Jim Harrison

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Marriage is survived just on the basis of ordinary etiquette, day in and day out. Also cooking together helps a lot. — Jim Harrison

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Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness. And they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy ... or they become legend. — Jim Harrison

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Deadly Sins on a long, yellow legal tablet: Pride, Greed, Envy, Lechery, Gluttony, Anger, Laziness. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1150115

I suppose in antique Marxist terms we are lavishly paid because we are perfect tools for the class even higher up, those who own the ballpark. You can occasionally have some sympathy for those frequently unhappy souls with big inheritances from birth. This was fate in which the sense of victimization is always possible. But my own class is undeserving of a mote, a mite, a filament, an iota of sympathy. We are self-made barkers, toy dogs, prime weenies. — Jim Harrison

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I'm actually forced to write about Michigan because as a native of that state it's the place I know best. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1212432

Imagine if Congress were actually knowledgeable of American history. — Jim Harrison

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Rumi advised me to keep my spirit
up in the branches of a tree and not peek
out too far, so I keep mine in the very tall
willows along the irrigation ditch out back — Jim Harrison

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Fate has never ladled out hardship very evenly, and this frequently trips our often infantile sense of justice. — Jim Harrison

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That's my only defense against this world: to build a sentence out of it. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1331920

At heart he was a secret Quaker and football was pure violence. The coach was always telling him to "hit them harder." The coach wanted him to put opposing players "out of commission." He kept it to himself but wondered what the point of the "game" was if your intention was to hurt people badly. — Jim Harrison

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It takes a long time for a father to drive the love out of a child. — Jim Harrison

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In 20,000 walks you're bound to learn a little. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1358775

What will I die with in my hand?
A paintbrush (for houses), an M15
a hammer or ax, a book a gavel,
a candlestick
tiptoeing upstairs.
What will I hold or will I
be caught with this usual thing
that I want to be my heart but
it is my brain and I turn it
over and over and over. — Jim Harrison

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Life is an honor, albeit anonymously delivered. — Jim Harrison

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How could this nasty twerp be so ferally sexual dressed nearly as a boy? — Jim Harrison

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However grim the world, we are what we have evolved into. — Jim Harrison

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Poetry at its best is the language your soul would speak if you could teach your soul to speak. — Jim Harrison

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So when I made some money, I didn't have any idea how one handled such a situation because no one in our family ever had any money. — Jim Harrison

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It's very difficult to look at the World
and into your heart at the same time.
In between, a life has passed. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1662838

Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1692884

At my cabin I got so jumpy after saving my young heroine from three older men who resembled my friends that I flipped and conceived of a highly illegal meal, a thirty-pound elephant's asshole shipped FedEx from Zimbabwe, cooked for three days in a rock-lined fire hole in a bleached gunnysack soaked in 151 rum, to which is added thirteen pounds of garlic and an equal amount of fresh hot chiles. Serve with plain white rice. A Bordeaux is a possibility. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1747556

Much earlier in this century an Austrian journalist, Karl Kraus, pointed out that if you actually perceived the true reality behind the news you would run, screaming, into the streets. I have run screaming into the streets dozens of times but have always managed to return home in time for dinner-and usually an hour early so that I can help in the preparation. — Jim Harrison

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The struggle is against a nation that will always spit in its grandchildren's faces for immediate profit. As Vizenor would say, 'Their Mother Earth is a blond.' " In — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1815802

You touch things lightly or deeply; you move along because life herself moves, and you can't stop it. — Jim Harrison

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Birds are holes in heaven through which a man may pass, — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 1953476

I have such trouble, getting all these manuscripts every year by the hundreds, and galleys and so on, because you can tell right away if a person's not in touch; if they want sincerity, or to be right, it's hopeless. If there isn't a primary intoxication with language and playfulness of their own consciousness, it's hopeless. If they just want to be right, well then they'd be better off being a professor, wouldn't they? — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 2014317

The only advice I can give to aspiring writers is don't do it unless you're willing to give your whole life to it. Red wine and garlic also helps.
Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 2055843

All our progress of luxury and knowledge ... we have not been lifted by as much as an inch above the level of the darkest ages ... The last hundred years have wrought no change in the passions, the cruelties, and the barbarous impulses of mankind. There is no change from the savagery of the Middle Ages. We enter a new century equipped with every wonderful device of science and art but the pirate, the savage, and the tyrant still survives. — Jim Harrison

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I don't want to get married or run away. I want my free will. I just want to love someone and not get fucked over. — Jim Harrison

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Naturally we would prefer seven epiphanies a day and an earth not so apparently devoid of angels. — Jim Harrison

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Michigan is two radically different places - the North and the South which makes for good drama and contrast. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 2147480

We Are All One. When we allow ourselves to become aware of this statement in its purest form, we open the doors to reveal the oneness of being. Using the process of conscious evolution we begin to recognise our true underlying identity, for once we have glimpsed the existence of this realm, we then begin to reveal what it is ... our true natural state. — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 2180870

Earlier, when I made my coffee (after releasing my grateful geese), I sat at the big Northridge desk and got out the Edward Curtis portfolio for breakfast reading. When I untied the first folio there was a note - "Dalva & Ruth. Wash your hands. I love you. Grandpa." A simple old note, brittle with age, but I was momentarily overcome with loneliness for her; at the same time, though, I knew in a deeper sense that I was totally out of the running. In the long and short of it, love is a more difficult subject than sex. Or history. I — Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison Quotes 2256545

His own life suddenly seemed repellently formal. Whom did he know or what did he know and whom did he love? Sitting on the stump under the burden of his father's death and even the mortality inherent in the dying, wildly colored canopy of leaves, he somehow understood that life was only what one did every day ... Nothing was like anything else, including himself, and everything was changing all of the time. He knew he couldn't perceive the change because he was changing too, along with everything else.
(from the novella, The Man Who Gave Up His Name) — Jim Harrison