words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Toni Morrison

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What would literature be without Toni Morrison? Her poignant stories seamlessly weave the past with the present, the natural with the supernatural, the sacrosanct with the profane. I’ve found myself going back to “Sula” and “The Bluest Eye” to reread certain passages and become once again swept up in Morrison’s moving language.

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Morrison has published 11 novels, and I fully intend to read them all. Every page is full of vivid imagery and powerful dialogue. One doesn’t read Toni Morrison’s books: one becomes part of Morrison’s world.

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There’s a lot to love about Morrison. She wrote “The Bluest Eye” while raising two children post divorce. She published “The Bluest Eye” at the tender age of 39. She had to wake up at 4 AM to do her writing, but she got it done, and her efforts paid off.

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She speaks candidly about the importance of writing and why we must tell our stories. She shares profundities on life and love. And she tempers all of her works with humor, grace and timeless charm.

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I could sing Morrison’s praises forever and it wouldn’t be enough. So let me just say, if you are so inclined, make sure to read one of her books. I suggest you start off with “The Bluest Eye”: after all, it was her first book! Then move on to “Sula” and think about your closest friend: it will make you want to reach out to him/her and hold them close. Read some of her work and just watch your soul grow: it’s inevitable.

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Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of your day! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow.

(Photos courtesy of Pinterest, TheQuotesIn, QuotesFav, Goalcast, and LegendsQuotes)

 

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Maya Angelou

Happy Sunday, my friends! This Words of Wisdom post is long overdue. Mother Maya Angelou, who I’ve mentioned in this post and in this one, has been a personal inspiration for a very long time. Her life – full of adventures, love and depth – is a story of living to the fullest. I can’t possibly put all of her accomplishments here, but a short list includes a career as a singer, poet, street car driver, activist, and journalist. You can read about her many “lives” here.

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There are literally hundreds of Maya Angelou quotes worth incorporating into your life (remember, she’s a writer: she had a lot to say!) But my favorites are any of the quotes that encourage you to live a good life.

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Maya didn’t have a perfect life: her mother had a difficult time with caring for small children, so she left Maya and her brother with their grandmother. Then, during a visit, Maya’s mother’s boyfriend ended up raping Maya (he later experienced some “street justice” for attacking her).

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Maya was so traumatized by the rape and the subsequent murder of her rapist that she was silent for several years, opting instead to retreat to a world of books. When she finally did decide to speak again, she “had a lot to say”, as she had read every book available in the colored library that she visited.

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She lived through segregation, the Civil Rights movement, rapid global changes, and she absolutely THRIVED through it all. She’s proof that difficulties need not keep us from living our best lives. When we continue to prioritize joy and make sure that we live boldly, we too can thrive even when the outside world is turbulent.

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And can we talk, for just a moment, about how much law of attraction (LOA) factors into her quotes? So many of the concepts that we hear in LOA circles show up in Maya’s words. Reading her quotes is like getting a hold of some kind of LOA textbook!

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I’ve plucked a few of my favorite quotes, but I can’t do justice to Maya within this post. If you find her interesting (and pretty much anyone would find her interesting if they knew just a little about her), I encourage you to read some of her poetry, watch videos of her on YouTube and check out her autobiographies. You won’t be disappointed!

Maya Angelou Quote about Life

 

(photos courtesy of Goalcast, CreativeTalanoa, Fearless Motivation, Quotlr, Imfunny.net, and Quotesten)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: June Jordan

In keeping with the spirit of some of my Words of Wisdom posts (I enjoy profiling women writers), I’m sharing a few quotes from June Jordan.

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(from Goodreads)

Jordan touched on many of the same issues as discussed by Audre Lorde.  I love that Jordan focused on telling her truth through poetry. When you think about it, truth-telling is difficult – or at very least uncomfortable – when you have weighty matters or opinions to discuss. But to be able to tell the truth artistically sound extraordinarily challenging: Jordan, however, did it with ease.

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(photo from Affinity Magazine)

Jordan’s poetry often intersected art with politics, race, gender and other issues of representation. She understood that her chosen method of truth telling was distinctly political and self-reflective.

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(from AZQuotes)

Jordan’s writings are a testimony to the power of poetry to embolden and empower readers. After all, she famously stated, “We are the ones we have been waiting for”. And what is more powerful than knowing that you – yes, YOU – have the ability to rescue yourself? I find that thought extremely comforting.

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(from Pinterest)

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your Friday! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Zora Neale Hurston

Happy, happy Friday! We made it through another week, and a glorious weekend is upon us. Let’s celebrate!

Today, I’m going to spend a few moments talking about one of my favorite authors, Zora Neale Hurston. She is an inspiration on many levels: accomplished writer, anthropologist, and all-around crafty woman (she posed as an 18 year old in order to get a free high school education – she was 26 years old at the time!).nndb

I love her determination, her confidence, and her adventurous spirit. She researched communities in the Southern US and in the Caribbean, gathering information that she documented for historical purposes as well as using it for writing fodder, weaving the details into her folklore and short stories.

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It’s no surprise that a gifted writer like Zora had some interesting observations on life in general, as well as her experience as a Black woman living during the Jim Crow era. Her musings have proven to stand the test of time, and give us great food for thought down to this day.

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How many times have we gone through a period of our lives and wondered, “What the heck just happened here?” If you’ve had that experience, you were probably in a year that asked questions. Just hold on and continue to do your best, the year that answers is on the horizon.

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Zora had interesting political views: she was a conservative Republican, though, if she were alive today, her views would probably place her closer toward the libertarian end of the spectrum. In any case, she believed that she could create her own fate and make the life that she dreamed of living – and she did.

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It takes some special to have a high opinion of yourself during a time that every social structure in place was invested in your oppression. Zora managed to THRIVE during a hostile period in US history. Her example inspires me, as I remember that the ability to THRIVE is always available to us.

 

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

(photos courtesy of AZ Quotes, American Museum of Natural History, Notable Names Database and Library of Congress)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Alice Walker

Happy Monday, my friends! What better way to start off a week than some words of wisdom?

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(from Thought Catalog)

Alice Walker is a writer extraordinaire, penning poetry, short stories and novels.  She is also an activist: she coined the term “womanism”, which is feminism that centers on Black women’s experiences. Her poetry and stories have garnered her a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and many loyal fans.

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(from Relatably)

Walker’s “The Color Purple” is a riveting tale of a poor Black woman’s journey to overcome abuse and oppression. She was a survivor and thriver in a time where women – especially women of color – found it especially difficult to get ahead in life. Her main character, Celie, learns to love and succeed in a world where the odds seem overwhelmingly against her.

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(from AgingAbundantly)

I’ve read “The Color Purple” as an adult, and I also watched the movie several times growing up. I didn’t appreciate the story until I read it. I was transfixed by Walker’s writing style: conversational and reflective. It was hard to put the book down: the story unfolds beautifully and at a great pace. Walker’s own journey to self-actualization has been inspirational to learn about over the past few years. I’m glad that I took the time to learn more about this remarkable woman.

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(from Pinterest)

Walker’s art inspires me. I hope she continues to create: our world continues to need voices like hers.

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(from Pinterest)

May Alice Walker’s words encourage you today. I’ll talk to you all soon!

life curation · words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Maria Callas

Did you all know that I love opera?

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If I haven’t mentioned it before, let me say it clearly: I LOVE opera music. I’ve played different instruments in the past but I’ve never been a good singer. So, I am always enchanted by a beautiful singing voice (it’s one thing that I do not possess!) One of the most legendary opera singers of all time is the tragic but insanely gifted Maria Callas.

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Maria didn’t care for her voice: it lacked the lightness and smoothness generally expected from sopranos. However, Maria was a mezzo-soprano that had trained her voice to the point of accommodating multiple vocal classifications. What she disliked about her voice was the single quality that makes her sound unique and captivating.

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Sadly, she had many painful experiences in her life. A tense relationship with her mother eventually resulted in them ceasing to speak to one another. Earlier in Maria’s career, she suffered from obesity that impacted her ability to perform; ironically enough, her drastic weight loss has been thought to be one of the main factors in her eventual vocal decline.  A torturous love affair with Aristotle Onassis that resulted in Maria’s ultimate heartbreak, when Onassis married Jacqueline Kennedy and relegated Maria to mistress status.

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It’s the pain of Maria’s life that lends the tender, heart-wrenching quality to her singing. And for sure, she did have some joys: she thrilled many audiences with her dramatic soprano range, she traveled the world, and she LIVED a bold, full life. Maria, may you continue to rest in peace.

 

(photos courtesy Pinterest, Quotesurf, and Classic FM)

life curation · words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Prof. Wangari Maathai

Since I’m still buzzing from my trip to Nairobi, I figured I would share some words of wisdom from the esteemed Kenyan educator and activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Wangari Maathai.

You may remember seeing Prof. Maathai’s name and photo in my “Night at the Embassy” post. This remarkable woman founded the Green Belt Movement, which focuses on women’s rights, conservation and environmentalism. She authored several books and her ideas continue to inspire conservation efforts down to this day.

One of the main streets in Nairobi is named in her honor (I wish I had taken a photo of the street sign!) and her impact is still felt in this region. Here, I’ll share some of Prof. Maathai’s quotes that inspire me. Enjoy!

 

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(photo from Curves a la Mode)

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(photo from Quotlr)

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(photo from Love Our Girls)

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(photo from Gloria Kendi Borona)