Storytelling is analogous to communication
When I learned that Toni Morrison, one of my favourite authors, had died, I shed a tear. Memories of things she had said (in her various interviews) and stories she had written flashed across my mind. The genius called Toni Morrison had left this earth. I thought, If being as powerful a writer and an individual as Ms. Morrison had been does not make her immortal, then I am hopelessly misinformed in my understanding of immortally! I was able to find the following message that I had written on August 8, 2016 about Beloved. I had shared my experience with someone while I was rereading the Toni Morrison novel since I first did back in high school:
"I just read the most beautiful scene from Beloved. The scene is about two people having sex in a corn field:
Scrunched down among the stalks they couldn't see anything, including the corn tips waving over their heads and visible to everyone else.
"The rest of the scene is full of innuendos; lyrical, poetic, humanistic. It is delicately told with the finest precision of an author who seems to make the telling, the writing of words not only come alive but also spirit their way into your soul as if they were your own genie. Finally, your wish to be at the mercy and power of her words makes your soul cry out for more."
The way Ms. Morrison wields her craft reminds me that the seemingly impossible can be possible. Which leads me to another author and poet, the beloved Dr. Maya Angelou. I once heard her tell a story about the power that lies within us. Dr. Maya Angelou said that when doctors told her that her young son and only child would never walk again after a catastrophic car accident when they moved to Ghana, she went to a place so deep within herself that one could only imagine. She said that she had refused to believe the prognosis and that in the end her son did walk again.
That story, which I saw in an interview, has never left me.
Calling All Those Who Made The Dream Possible
What Dr. Maya Angelou said to Oprah Winfrey about commanding something
Oprah: So when you walk into a room and heads turn, it's not just confidence in yourself that we see?
Maya: Oh, no. That's why, though I was never pretty, I did command something—because of my reliance on life.
Oprah: When we see you, we're seeing all of your history.
Maya: That's right—all of my history as an African-American woman, as a Jewish woman, as a Muslim woman. I'm bringing everything I ever knew [and all the stories I've read]—everything good, strong, kind and powerful. I bring it all with me into every situation, and I will not allow my life to be minimized by anybody's racism or sexism or ageism. I will not. So I will take the Scandinavian story of the little princess, I will take the story of Heidi in the Alpine mountains, I will take the story of O-Lan in Pearl S. Buck's book The Good Earth, I will take them all. I take them, and I know them, and I am them. So when I walk into a room, people know that somebody has come in—they just don't know it's 2,000 people!
What's In A Name
“Every woman knows her own sorrows,” the woman said.
“So, you call yourself a serious cook—?”
“If you love curry chicken, ma’am, nobody make it like me. And johnny cakes. I make those too.”
The woman gave Dell-Dell a half smile. Dell-Dell knew for sure right then that her neat little gift had worked. Again. Like a gate, she had caught a latch in the lever. Like water, she had formed a new path as well.
Dell-Dell lifted her glasses and dried the pooling perspiration at the base of the rim. Then she dried around her mouth and her neck and smiled broadly. The long green frills of the palm tree scratched her sunburned felt hat as they swayed and rustled from a gust of sea breeze. Dell-Dell experienced a slight relief from the heat. The tail of the woman’s garment fluttered.
“What’s your name?”
Gladys Waters invited Dell-Dell into the house. Dell-Dell followed her up the stairs and through the fanciest room with the nicest furniture and largest TV that she had ever seen before. They passed the kitchen and came to a pair of great, big open glass doors. She walked Dell-Dell through them, on the other side of which they stepped out onto this thing of a veranda that looked onto the water and made Dell-Dell imagine that she was on the deck of a ship. After she had told Dell-Dell to have a seat at a table, Gladys Waters went back inside. Dell-Dell removed her hat and her glasses, dried her neck and her whole face properly, and took in the view of the ocean. Dell-Dell could see Hanover in the distance. Gladys Waters returned with a pitcher and a tall glass and poured into the glass. Dell-Dell had been gulping down the ice water before Gladys Waters even sat down across from her. From a glass she sipped what looked to Dell-Dell like orange juice.