How did Toni Morrison influence your life?
At this time in my life as I’ve allowed myself to fall in love again, I would say her words on love touch my soul in profound ways.
Every great author and some who never achieve world-wide acclaim has affected our lives in a multitude of ways. Toni Morrison’s work is in a class by itself. Maybe right up there with Maya Angelou.
I will let her words speak to you in honor of her memory.
“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”
“Something that is loved is never lost.”
“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose, not to need permission for desire, well now that was freedom.”
“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind.”
It is the courage of authors like Toni that have opened their hearts and bared their souls, that gave me the guts to write the stories that I write. My memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On is so personal and revealing it took me years before I would publish it.
“Make up a story. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” Toni Morrison
So I went on and wrote about a 50 year-old-woman and her 20-year-old lover in Target in the Sun. And then I exposed the lives of several male prostitutes in Mexico writing in the first person as Layla, in Lie To Me, again opening myself to major criticism, but also an award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues.
It’s not easy to reveal yourself because that’s what I do when I write. Yes, my books are “fiction” but as in the current Daniel Silva book The New Girl, our stories are often based on fact. Some hide it better than others.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
This sums it up for me: