words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Judy Garland

quoteprism

One of my favorite singers of all time was Judy Garland. Like most people, I got my first introduction to Garland when I saw “The Wizard of Oz” but as an adult, I got acquainted with her other songs, as well as her life story.

pinterest

This petite powerhouse felt with feeling ugly, awkward, and unloved. She was undoubtedly talented but never happy and secure in who she was. That unhappiness bled through her lyrics, making many of her songs heartbreakingly sad. But there is beauty in everything, including sadness. Even in her most painful songs, there is still so much elegance, warmth, and passion: she took heartbreak and turned it into art.

azquotes1

Garland had such naturalness when she sang: it was never forced or overwrought. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see her perform live, with such an enormous voice coming out of such a tiny woman (only 4’11”!). Recordings of her voice give me shivers now: can you imagine what it was like to hear her live?

statusmind

It’s difficult to listen to her recordings and to not be moved by them. I only wish she could have known how beautiful, special and loved she was. I hear her singing and I wish I could have hugged her and reassured her of her immeasurable value. She deserved better, and her tragic death at the age of 47 is a reminder to continue to love and affirm those around us.

azquotes2

Judy Garland had some poignant musings, and I’m honored to share a few of them with you all today. I hope that Judy’s words move and inspire you. Take care, and talk to you all tomorrow.

(photos courtesy Pinterest, StatusMind, AZQuotes and QuotePrism)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Octavia Butler

Tell stories filled with facts. Make people touch and taste and know. Make people FEEL! FEEL! FEEL!

I’m really surprised that I hadn’t written about this incredible author before, especially since she is one of my main inspirations when it comes to my writing. I haven’t tried my hand at science fiction/fantasy, but reading Octavia Butler’s work always makes me want to give it a whirl.

jenebaspeaks2

Butler willed her success into existence. Some of her papers show the affirmations that she wrote, encouraging herself along the way. While working an assortment of temporary jobs, she would wake up early to write. Her writing effortlessly weaves fantasy with contemporary issues like politics and power struggles around age-old dividers such as race, gender and sexual relationships. Her characters – multidimensional and transcendent – stay with you long after you finish her books.

ovtavia-butler-quote2

I’ve read several of her stories, starting with Mind of My Mind though, knowing what I know now, I would have started with Wild Seed, my favorite book by Butler. Wild Seed is an origin story, which describes the long history between Doro and Anyanwu. This story sets the scene for the subsequent novels. These two powerful beings struggle with one another through centuries, until they have a final showdown that end their tug-of-war.

jenebaspeaks

I love how Wild Seed takes readers through Anyanwu’s growth into an empowered woman. I love reading about Doro’s calculated nature and how everything he does is part of his master plan. And most of all, I love how well-developed the characters are and how they navigate their dysfunctional symbiotic relationship. I found myself questioning my own journey to empowerment and self actualization while reading Wild Seed.

pinterest

On today, which would have been Butler’s 71st birthday, I’m sharing a few of my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy!

 

(Photos courtesy of BlackMattersUs, JenebaSpeaks, Pinterest and ForReadingAddicts.co.uk)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Toni Morrison

pinterest2

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.

legendsquotes

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.

quotesfav

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.

pinterest

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.

thequotesin

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.

goalcast

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.

imfunnynet

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.

fearlessmotivation

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).

Maya-Angelou-quotes-Amazing

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.

Maya-Angelou-quotes-attitude

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.

creativetalanoa

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!

quotlr

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.

goodreads

(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.

In the process of telling the truth about what you feel

(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.

azquotes

(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.

pinterest

(from Pinterest)

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

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?

thoughtcatalog

(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.

relatably

(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.

New-Alice-Walker-Quotes-98-On-Inspirational-Love-Quotes-with-Alice-Walker-Quotes

(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.

pinterest2

(from Pinterest)

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

pinterest

(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?

performers-quotes-9-1377772242-view-1

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.

ff04834d61ee8d83cb86da6b44258341

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.

download

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.

859425ee13456dd33d66edc69f9c3967

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)