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Kathleen Jamie

Top 10 Best Quotes

“We couldn't see the real dark for the metaphorical dark. Because of the metaphorical dark, the death-dark, we were constantly concerned to banish the natural dark.”

“Isn't that a kind of prayer? The care and maintenance of the web of our noticing, the paying heed?”

“Pity the dark: we're so concerned to overcome and banish it, it's crammed full of all that's devilish, like some grim cupboard under the stair. But dark is good. We are conceived and carried in darkness, are we not?”

“…late the other night, when the kids were asleep and the birds at roost, I made a tour through the Internet’s second-hand bookstores,…”

“…a short seven miles away is the Neolithic village called Skara Brae. There is preserved a huddle of roofless huts, dug half underground into midden and sand dune. There, you can marvel at the domestic normality, that late Stone Age people had beds and cupboards and neighbours and beads. You can feel both their presence, their day-to-day lives, and their utter absence. It’s a good place to go. It re-calibrates your sense of time.”

“…I stopped in the tiny garden that encloses the Tolsta war memorial. The bronze plaque lists too many names for this small place; the same surnames recur over and again. The memorial, in the shape of an open book, also remembers the many soldiers who were returning to Lewis from the Great War, only to be drowned when their ship, the Iolaire, struck rocks outside Stornoway Harbour, which is a difficult one to make sense of.”

“…I grew to appreciate the company of people who listen to the world. They don’t feel the need to talk all the while. They were alert to bird-cries, waves sucking on rocks, a rope frittering against a mast.”

“[…on a Corncrake call…] Fairy music is said to do this; to lead a man on in his confusion and drunkenness, to start, then stop, then begin again from another place, ever luring him on. This was not a beautiful music, it has to be said; hardly the art of fairies. Mind you, it could be a goblin carpenter, sawing away at his little workbench, if you’d had a few too many at the island disco and were of a fanciful mind.”

“When I want to know a thing, I resort to books and feel strangely exposed without books to fall back on, as though standing on a ledge.”

“We look about the world, by the light we have made, and realise it’s all vulnerable, and all worth saving, and no one can do it but us.”

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Book Keywords:

storaway, internet, attentiveness, writing, travel, birds, silence, corcrake-call, scotland, war-memorial, tolsta, company, parenting, reading, world, lewis, darkness, bookshops, scoland, history, soldiers, nature, earth, books, bird-call, adventure, outdoors, neolithic, waves, talking, fairy-music, music, knowledge, skara-brae, ruins

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