I’m crying. I can’t help it. I’ve been really weepy these last few days. It’s the curse of wearing my heart on my sleeve as my mother used to say. She used to always admonish me because she said I cried too much. She said that I always wear my heart on my sleeves. “You need to take your heart and shove it underneath the bed where it belongs.”
I never learned how to not feel so much. But what does that matter to you? Well, I just finished reading Pearl Cleage’s autobiography Things I Should Have Told My Daughter and it touched me in ways that a book hasn’t in a long time, if ever. That’s why I am feeling so weepy now. I am saddened that I reached the end of the book. I enjoyed so much reading about her journey as a writer, mother, lover, daughter, and feminist mostly during the 70s and 80s.
She was telling my story and there’s no denying it. Within the pages of her personal journal I saw pieces of me and I felt her growing. I also felt validated in being my own true self. Sometimes I kick myself because I wear my heart on my sleeve, because I care too much, because I get so carried away about things that are important to me. But it’s OK. I’m OK. And I love her.
Sometimes you think you know a writer because you’ve read his or her work, but this made me realize you really can’t know them by their work. I felt like I had sneaked in her closet and unearthed the treasure of her journals and was thumbing through them. It was a wonderful feeling.
I know I will go back to this book again and again. There’s no way I can not go back.
Some nuggets from the book that I will always remember because of how they touched me (And I won’t share too much because you should get the book and read it yourself. You really should.)
1. Every female artist needs one (Jon Peters) because the money doesn’t matter. Neither does the fame or the rose in her hair. She ain’t got a man. Nobody calls her the morning after either. We are all sisters. We know how she feels and we love her.
2. An artist needs to remove the censors that plague us…
3. She thinks she has to settle for the sad, depressing stretch of meaningless days heading for a painful death…Don’t you know it ain’t over till the fat lady sings?
4. Some people like to do sit-ups in the morning. I like to have orgasms.
5. Do people really change their lives for magnificent love?
6. The applause may make you feel good, but when it’s gone and you’re by yourself, you have to tap dance anyway because that’s all you are.
Somehow she was telling her story and telling mine at the same time. That’s why this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I’m not ready to let go of it. Most of all I learned from this book that it’s okay to be myself and it’s okay to screw up sometimes. And I was able to get a ringside seat, through her journal entries, to some pivotal events from history.
Add this book to your TBR list. Now!
Remember, all decisions are made from a place of love or fear. Make your decisions from a place of love. And, if my saying it isn’t enough, then check out this clip of Jim Carrey giving a commencement speech. He talks about how his father inspired him to chase after what he loves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajMpfPYlHi4
Peace & Love,