In the Prologue to “Mom and Me and Mom”, the remarkable Maya Angelou writes that she is “Frequently….asked how I got to be this way.” How did she, in the face of formidable circumstances, “get to be Maya Angelou?” — an acclaimed poet, writer, a thinker who, despite having no formal college-education, ended up with over 50 honorary degrees.
Maya tells us that she became “the woman I am because of the grandmother I loved, and the mother I came to adore.” “Their love,” she writes, “informed, educated, and liberated me.” And then we read lines that blaze from the page:
Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.
In “Almost Everything: Notes on Hope”, Anne Lamott writes: “I have known hell, and I have also known love. Love was bigger.” Elsewhere in the book, she tells us: “Love is why we have hope.”
Father Gregory Boyle writes in “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship” that “A loving heart doesn’t color your world like rose-colored glasses; it alters it.”