I have never written a tribute to a writer before, and I think the best to do it is to share some quotes by Pat Conroy, who the world lost on March 4, 2016.
“Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.” The Lords of Discipline
“Music could ache and hurt, that beautiful music was a place a suffering man could hide.” Beach Music
“A story untold could be the one that kills you.”
“My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call.” The Prince of Tides
“”Here is all I ask of a book – give me everything. Everything, and don’t leave out a single word.” My Reading Life
“I’ve never had anyone’s approval, so I’ve learned to live without it.” The Great Santini
“Without music and dance, life is a journey through a desert.”
“I have lived with the terrible knowledge that one day I would be an old man still waiting for my life to start. Already, I pitied that old man.” The Prince of Tides
“The best thing about a small town is that you grow up knowing everyone. It is also the worst thing.” Beach Music
“I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say.”There, That taste. That’s the taste of my childhood.”
“In the secrecy of its gardens you can discover jasmine and camellias and hundreds of other plants that look embroidered and stolen from the Garden of Eden, for the sheer love of richness and the joy to stealing from the gods.” South of Broad
“Books are living things and their task lies in their vows of silence. You touch them as they quiver with a divine pleasure. You read them and they fall asleep to happy dreams for the next 10 years. If you do them the favor of understanding them, of taking in their portions of grief and wisdom, then they settle down in contented residence in your heart.” My Reading Life
“The only word for goodness is goodness, and it is not enough.” The Prince of Tides
“The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in “Lonesome Dove” and had nightmares about slavery in “Beloved” and walked the streets of Dublin in “Ulysses” and made up a hundred of stories in the Arabian nights and saw my mother killed by a baseball in “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. I’ve been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers. In my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language.”
Thank youPat Conroy for every single word.