"In my experience, there is only one motivation, and that is desire. No reasons or principle contain it or stand against it."
"Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards."Jane Smiley on Soren Kierkegaard
"The only source of knowledge is experience."Jane Smiley on Albert Einstein
"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn."Jane Smiley on C. S. Lewis
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."Jane Smiley on Oscar Wilde
"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."Jane Smiley on Mark Twain
"I learned why 'out riding alone' is an oxymoron: An equestrian is never alone, is always sensing the other being, the mysterious but also understandable living being that is the horse."
"I discovered that the horse is life itself, a metaphor but also an example of life's mystery and unpredictability, of life's generosity and beauty, a worthy object of repeated and ever changing contemplation."
"There are hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings around the United States and in other countries, too. Wright lived into his 90s, and one of his most famous buildings, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, was completed just before his death. Wright buildings look like Wright buildings - that is their paradox."
"Vets do what doctors used to - diagnose the injury or the condition, patch it up as best they can and remind you that these things happen and that in life we are also in the midst of death."
"Somehow, knowing that Alzheimer's is coming mocks all one's aspirations - to tell stories, to think through certain issues as only a novel can do, to be recognised for one's accomplishments and hard work - in a way that old familiar death does not."