I knew that I was loved. And that's such an important thing. And, of course, at such an early age, you take it for granted. Of course your parents love you. Of course Mrs. Hubert across the street loves you and your godmother loves you and your grandparents love you.
There's no anger ever in a spiritual. There's always the dream of a hope of a better day coming. That God understands the troubles that I'm experiencing.
I read everything. I'll read a John Grisham novel, I'll sit and read a whole book of poems by Maya Angelou, or I'll just read some Mary Oliver - this is a book that was given to me for Christmas. No particular genre. And I read in French, and I read in German, and I read in English. I love to see how other people use language.
Growing up in Augusta in such a protected and loving community is something that I really enjoy talking about. I love talking about - even though I grew up, of course, in the time of segregated schools: Brown vs. Board of Education came along after I was already in first grade.
I have enjoyed most particularly reading the correspondence between Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The genuine friendship, competitiveness and support that thread through their communications are life lessons for us all.
I am deeply spiritual: I revel in those things that make for good - the things that we can do to shed a little light, to help place an oft-dissonant universe back in tune with itself... Long live art, long live friendship, long live the joy of life!
One of the reasons that I take such joy in being a trustee of the New York Public Library is the love of reading that I found as a child in the Saturday morning library events for preschoolers and first and second graders as I was growing up in Augusta, GA.
One needs more than ambition and talent to make a success of anything, really. There must be love and a vocation.
'Swan,' by Mary Oliver. Poems and prose. Reading from this book is as if visiting a very wise friend. There is wisdom and welcoming kindness on every page.
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