Their Eyes Were Watching God Quotes

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There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

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Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.

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If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don't keer if you die at dusk. It's so many people never seen de light at all.

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Some people could look at a mud puddle and see an ocean with ships.

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Love is like the sea. It's a moving thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from the shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.

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She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.

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All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.

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Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin' fuh theyselves.

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There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.

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No hour is ever eternity, but it has its right to weep.

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She had an inside and an outside now and suddenly she knew how not to mix them.

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She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her.

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She didn't read books so she didn't know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.

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Then you must tell 'em dat love ain't somethin' lak uh grindstone dat's de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It's uh movin' thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it's different with every shore.

129

So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.

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Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.

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They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

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It was the meanest moment of eternity.

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Of course he wasn't dead. He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.

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...she starched and ironed her face, forming it into just what people wanted to see...

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He looked like the love thoughts of women.

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Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.

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Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!

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She often spoke to falling seeds and said, "Ah hope you fall on soft ground," because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie's first dream was dead, so she became a woman.

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Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.

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Please God, please suh, don't let him love nobody else but me. Maybe Ah'm is uh fool, Lawd, lak dey say, but Lawd, Ah been so lonesome, and Ah been waitin', Jesus. Ah done waited uh long time.

49

You'se something tuh make uh man forgit to git old and forgit tuh die.

46

It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.

46

She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside there to see what it was. It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw that it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just something she had grabbed up to drape her dreams over.

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Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.

41

She was saving up feelings for some man she had never seen.

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And I can't die easy thinking maybe the menfolks white or black is making a spit cup out of you. Have some sympathy for me. Put me down easy, Janie, I'm a cracked plate.

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He was the average mortal. It troubled him to get used to the world one way and then suddenly have it turn different.

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Look lak she been livin' through uh hundred years in January without one day of spring.

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The morning air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on, picking flowers and making a bouquet… From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything.

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From barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom…It was like a flute song forgotten in another existence and remembered again. What? How? Why? This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep.

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The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.

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She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.

24

Pheoby, yuh got tuh go there tuh know there. Yo' papa and yo' mama and nobody else can't tell yuh and show yuh. Two things everybody's got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God and they got tuh find out about livin fuh theyselves.

22

There is two things everybody got to find out for theirselves. They got to find out about love and they got to find out about living.

22

In the cool afternoon the fiend from hell specifically sent to lovers arrived at Janie's ear. Doubt.

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Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as fur as Ah been able tuh find out. Maybe it's some place way off in de ocean where de black man is in power, but we don't know nothin' but what we see.

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She couldn’t make him look just like any other man to her. He looked like the love thoughts of women. He could be a bee to a blossom – a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took. Spices hung above him. He was a glance from God.

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But as de old folk always say, Ah'm born but Ah ain't dead. No tellin' whut Ah'm liable tuh do yet.

17

She knew things that nobody had ever told her... She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pastor of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one every sun-up. It was wonderful to see it take form with the sun and emerge from the gray dust of its making.

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They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.

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She wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her.

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...you got tuh go there tuh know there.

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Tain't no use in you cryin' . . . But folks is meant to cry 'bout somethin' or other. Better leave things de way dey is. Youse young yet. No tellin' whut mout happen befo' you die.

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The monstropolous beast had left his bed. The two hundred miles a hour wind had loosed his chains. He seized hold of his dikes and ran forward until he met the quarters; uprooted them like grass and rushed on after his supposed-to-be conquerors, rolling the dikes, rolling the houses, rolling the people in the houses along with other timbers. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.

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