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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Flying with Toni Morrison

Last night I was in the presence of greatness. I was in the same room breathing the same air as Toni Morrison. Yes, THE Toni Morrison, Noble prize-winning American author, editor, and professor Toni Morrison. Let me say that again, Noble prize winner, the first black woman to win it, Toni Morrison. I had the privilege to hear her read from her new book titled Mercy. It will be available to the public on November 11th. That's right, it isn't even published yet and I heard it from the lips of the great one herself. It was amazing, simply amazing. There is something so soothing about being read to. There is something out of this world when you are being read a book not yet published by a Nobel prize winner.

One thing I realized as Dr. Morrison was being introduced, she started with one accomplishment and just kept on going. She started writing fiction as part of an informal group of poets and writers at Howard University who met to discuss their work. She went to one meeting with a short story about a black girl who longed to have blue eyes. The story later evolved into her first novel, The Bluest Eye in 1970. I am sure she had no idea how that would change her world and the world of those around her.

We are all building our legacies. We will do things that may later unfold into dynamic masterful miracles if only in our own worlds. We will not know yet how or what or when our actions at this very moment will impact one person, one city, one state, or maybe one nation. The goal is to keep flying. The goal is to start now with one thing, one thing and then another, then another. Who knows, maybe one day someone will introduce you to an audience and someone in that audience will come home and write that while seeing you, she was in the presence of greatness.

Dwell in possibility. Emily Dickinson


kristine said...

I am always in the presence of greatness and inspiriation when I am in the presence of my girlfriends. You don't have to write books or poems or be recognized in the public eye to be great. I am in awe of every one of the women I know and I am grateful to each of them for helping me to become the woman I am.

doretha said...

Kristine, I agree. All humans possess the presence of greatness. Some just exude it more than others. I was just honored to be in the presence of someone so world renowned and internationally revered. She is a positive living illustration of how to be great with humility, grace, and elegance. I, too, appreciate every woman that I call sister girlfriend for the spice, support, humor, and at times tears that they add to my life. They enhance my tapestry and I am forever grateful.