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Top 120 Robin Wall Kimmerer Quotes (2023 Update)
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Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Balance is not a passive resting place – it takes work, balancing the giving and the taking, the raking out and the putting in.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Our stories say that of all the plants, wiingaashk, or sweetgrass, was the very first to grow on the earth, its fragrance a sweet memory of Skywoman’s hand. Accordingly, it is honored as one of the four sacred plants of my people. Breathe in its scent and you start to remember things you didn’t know you’d forgotten. Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “When we tell them that the tree is not a who but an it, we make that maple an object; we put a barrier between us, absolving ourselves of moral responsibility and opening the door to exploitation... If a maple is an it, we can take up the chain saw. If a maple is a her, we think twice.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “What we contemplate here is more than ecological restoration; it is the restoration of relationship between plants and people. Scientists have made a dent in understanding how to put ecosystems back together, but our experiments focus on soil pH and hydrology – matter, to the exclusion of spirit. We might look to the Thanksgiving Address for guidance on weaving the two. We are dreaming of a time when the land might give thanks for the people.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Your hands itch to pull out invasive species and replant the native flowers. Your finger trembles with a wish to detonate the explosion of an obsolete dam that would restore a salmon run. These are antidotes to the poison of despair.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Our indigenous herbalists say to pay attention when plants come to you; they’re bringing you something you need to learn.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “If time could run backward, like a film in reverse, we would see this mess reassemble itself into lush green hills and moss-covered ledges of limestone. The streams would run back up the hills to the springs and the salt would stay glittering in underground rooms.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “From the very beginning of the world, the other species were a lifeboat for the people. Now, we must be theirs.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “They love to hear the old language,” he said, “it’s true.” “But,” he said, with fingers on his lips, “You don’t have to speak it here.” “If you speak it here,” he said, patting his chest, “They will hear you.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “When George Washington directed federal troops to exterminate the Onondaga during the Revolutionary War, a nation that had numbered in the tens of thousands was reduced to a few hundred people in a matter of one year.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Plants are also integral to reweaving the connection between land and people. A place becomes a home when it sustains you, when it feeds you in body as well as spirit. To recreate a home, the plants must also return.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Maybe a grammar of animacy could lead us to whole new ways of living in the world, other species a sovereign people, a world with a democracy of species, not a tyranny of one – with moral responsibility to water and wolves, and with a legal system that recognizes the standing of other species. It’s all in the pronouns.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “A good mother grows into a richly eutrophic old woman, knowing that her work doesn’t end until she creates a home where all of life’s beings can flourish.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Of course you should write about it. It’s supposed to be shared, otherwise how can it work? We’ve been waiting five hundred years for people to listen. If they’d understood the Thanksgiving then, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “There are some aches witch hazel can’t assuage. For those, we need each other.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Native scholar Greg Cajete has written that in indigenous ways of knowing, we understand a thing only when we understand it with all four aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion, and spirit.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Just as you can pick out the voice of a loved one in the tumult of a noisy room, or spot your child’s smile in a sea of faces, intimate connection allows recognition in an all-too-often anonymous world. This sense of connection arises from a special kind of discrimination, a search image that comes from a long time spent looking and listening. Intimacy gives us a different way of seeing, when visual acuity is not enough.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “But I need to remember that the grief is the settlers’ as well. They too will never walk in a tallgrass prairie where sunflowers dance with goldfinches. Their children have also lost the chance to sing at the Maple Dance. They can’t drink the water either.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “What would it be like, I wondered, to live with that heightened sensitivity to the lives given for ours? To consider the tree in the Kleenex, the algae in the toothpaste, the oaks in the floor, the grapes in the wine; to follow back the thread of life in everything and pay it respect?”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The marvel of a basket is in its transformation, its journey from wholeness as a living plant to fragmented strands and back to wholeness again as a basket. A basket knows the dual powers of destruction and creation that shape the world. Strands once separated are rewoven into a new whole. The journey of a basket is also the journey of a people.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “The edge of a leaf is not simply uneven; there is a glossary of specific words for the appearance of a leaf margin: dentate for large, coarse teeth, serrate for a sawblade edge, serrulate if the teeth are fine and even, ciliate for a fringe along the edge. A leaf folded by accordion pleats is plicate, complanate when flattened as if squashed between two pages of a book. Every nuance of moss architecture has a word.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Wild plants have changed to stand in well-behaved rows and wild humans have changed to settle alongside the fields and care for the plants – a kind of mutual taming.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “There is such tenderness in braiding the hair of someone you love. Kindness and something more flow between the braider and the braided, the two connected by the cord of the plait.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Wewene, I say to myself: in a good time, in a good way. There are no shortcuts. It must unfold in the right way, when all the elements are present, mind and body harnessed in unison.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer Quote: “Imagine that while our neighbors were holding a giveaway, someone broke into their home to take whatever he wanted. We would be outraged at the moral trespass. So it should be for the earth. The earth gives away for free the power of wind and sun and water, but instead we break open the earth to take fossil fuels. Had we taken only that which is given to us, had we reciprocated the gift, we would not have to fear our own atmosphere today.”
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