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201 pages, Hardcover
First published April 2, 2013
Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.
“You’ve been a hard worker—white, black, Asian, and Latino women ship out of the San Francisco port because of you. You have been a shipfitter, a nurse, a real estate broker, and a barber. Many men and—if my memory serves me right—a few women risked their lives to love you. You were a terrible mother of small children, but there has never been anyone greater than you as a mother of a young adult.”
“She made a funny face and against my will, I smiled. She kissed me on my lips and started to cry. “That’s the first time I have seen your smile. It is a beautiful smile. Mother’s beautiful daughter can smile.”
I was not used to being called beautiful.
That day, I learned that I could be a giver simply by bringing a smile to another person. The ensuing years have taught me that a kind word or a vote of support can be charitable gift. I can move over and make another place for another to sit. I can turn my music up if it pleases, or down if it is annoying.
I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly want to be known as charitable.”
“If pessimism insists on occupying my thoughts, I remember there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.”
“I had a physical response to art. I breathed deeply and was relieved. For the first time in my life art seemed to have a tonal quality. I could almost hear the art as if it were a great chord of a symphonic piece.”
“This is the role of the mother, and in that visit I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known.”
“You’ve been a hard worker-white, black, Asian, and Latino women ship out of the San Francisco port because of you. You have been a shipfitter, a nurse, a real estate broker, and a barber. Many men and-if my memory serves me right-a few women risked their lives to love you. You were a terrible mother of small children, but there has never been anyone greater than you as a mother of a young adult.”(Maya Angelou said to her mother)