The fire seemed to live, go down, or die according to its own schemata. In the morning, however, it always saw fit to die.
("The Bluest Eye")
More Quotes from Toni Morrison:You need a whole community to raise a child. I have raised two children, alone.
If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.
Nothing could be taken for granted. Women who loved you tried to cut your throat, while women who didn't even know your name scrubbed your back. Witches could sound like Katharine Hepburn and your best friend could try to strangle you. Smack in the middle of an orchid there might be a blob of jello and inside a Mickey Mouse doll, a fixed and radiant star.
There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up, holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship's, smooths and contains the rocker. It's an inside kind--wrapped tight like skin. Then there is the loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive. On its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one's own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.
I always looked upon the acts of racist exclusion, or insult, as pitiable, from the other person. I never absorbed that. I always thought that there was something deficient about such people.
Black boys became criminalized. I was in constant dread for their lives, because they were targets everywhere. They still are.
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It was always something I knew I was capable of and from an early age my mother was involved in the film industry. She used to work at a production company. So I was exposed to a renaissance period of films in New Zealand back in the early 80's.
The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.
George Bernard Shaw
But above that, most mature adults can hold their attention on something for 45 minutes, whether they like it or not. But above that requires training.