quotations about the desert
In the desert, the line between life and death is sharp and quick.
BRIAN HERBERT & KEVIN J. ANDERSON, The Butlerian Jihad
Like water in the desert is wisdom to the soul.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.
ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, The Little Prince
Water, water, water.... There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.
EDWARD ABBEY, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
Night comes to the desert all at once, as if someone turned off the light.
JOYCE CAROL OATES, "Interior Monologue," The Wheel of Love and Other Stories
I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams.
ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, The Little Prince
A desert is a place without expectation.
NADINE GORDIMER, Telling Times
I had to live in the desert before I could understand the full value of grass in a green ditch.
ELLA MAILLART, Forbidden Journey
And all around is the desert; a corner of the mournful kingdom of sand.
In the desert, the only god is a well.
VERA NAZARIAN, Dreams of the Compass Rose
Anything built here, an unrelenting desert, was an act of sheer will imposed on territory unsuited for habitation.
DAVE EGGERS, A Hologram for the King
No wonder the film industry started in the desert in California where, like all desert dwellers, they dream their buildings, rather than design them.
ARTHUR ERICKSON, attributed, 1001 Greatest Things Ever Said About California
I like the desert for short periods of time, from inside a car, with the windows rolled up, and the doors locked. I prefer beach resorts with room service.
ANNE LAMOTT, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
Polish comes from the cities; wisdom from the desert.
- I've been through the desert on a horse with no name
- It felt good to be out of the rain.
- In the desert you can remember your name
- 'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain.
DEWEY BUNNELL, "A Horse with No Name"
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air.
PAUL HOFFMAN, The Last Four Things
The desert is so vast that no one can know it all. Men go out into the desert, and they are like ships at sea; no one knows when they will return.
JEAN-MARIE GUSTAVE LE CLÉZIO, Desert
It is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.
- In the desert a fountain is springing,
- In the wide waste there still is a tree,
- And a bird in the solitude singing,
- Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
LORD BYRON, Stanzas to Augusta
The desert takes our dreams away from us, and they don't always return.... Those who don't return become a part of the clouds, a part of the animals that hide in the ravines and of the water that comes from the earth. They become part of everything … They become the Soul of the World.
PAULO COELHO, The Alchemist
First, the desert is the country of madness. Second, it is the refuge of the devil, thrown out into the "wilderness of upper Egypt" to "wander in dry places." Thirst drives man mad, and the devil himself is mad with a kind of thirst for his own lost excellence--lost because he has immured himself in it and closed out everything else. So the man who wanders into the desert to be himself must take care that he does not go mad and become the servant of the one who dwells there in a sterile paradise of emptiness and rage.
THOMAS MERTON, Thoughts in Solitude
The desert is a place of passage, of wandering, or even of exile where love is accompanied by the anguish rooted in our ultimate incompleteness, which, however, reveals our true nature. The difference of the other shows us the gap in our vision of ourselves, the world, and God. This kind of self-knowledge is never easy to accept, but it leads us from slavery to freedom.
FABRICE BLÉE, The Third Desert
Nobody ever takes from the desert anything but aridity and monsters.
JOHN GEDDES, A Familiar Rain
The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
The desert does not mean the absence of men, it means the presence of God.
CARLO CARRETTO, The Desert in the City
The desert is our troubled state. It is the dwelling place of our demons.
SEAN CAULFIELD, The God of Ordinary People
There were no lies here. All fancies fled away. That's what happened in all deserts. It was just you, and what you believed.
TERRY PRATCHETT, Small Gods
The desert is the theater of the human struggle of searching for God.
JAN MAJERNIK, The Synoptics
The desert is no longer a landscape, it is a pure form produced by the abstraction of all others.
JEAN BAUDRILLARD, America
Madness plants mirrors in the desert. I find the means frightening. Our strategy of permanence in the uterus of chaos.
FLORIANO MARTINS, Cenizas del sol
All sunshine makes a desert.
Inhuman solitude made of sand and God. Surely only two kinds of people can bear to live in such desert: lunatics and prophets. The mind topples here not from fright but from sacred awe; sometimes it collapses downward, losing human stability, sometimes it springs upward, enters heaven, sees God face to face, touches the hem of His blazing garment without being burned, hears what He says, and taking this, slings it into men's consciousness. Only in the desert do we see the birth of these fierce, indomitable souls who rise up in rebellion even against God himself and stand before Him fearlessly, their minds in resplendent consubstantiality with the skirts of the Lord. God sees them and is proud, because in them his breath has not vented its force; in them, God has not stooped to becoming a man.
NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS, Report to Greco
They make a desert and call it peace.