Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books...? My response:
Maya Angelou will always hold a very special place in my heart, because she gave me permission to write about the struggles that I had held secretly within my soul. She opened the doors behind which sexual abuse and domestic violence thrive, and with her courage she paved a path of monumental change. Though I was not fortunate to meet her, she will always be my mentor.
Poet Mary Oliver’s verses speak to my soul. Her ponderings draw me into mystery, where I am brought to a deeper level of understanding. Inevitably, her choice of words guides my own. For instance, this comment left me speechless: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” How extraordinary!
Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s writing is of similar quality to that of Mary Oliver—it is honest, pure, loving, and transformative. She knows pain and sorrow and yet has found joy. She is like the sister I have never met, a friend who by her life teaches me how to live.
In addition the works of the authors mentioned above, though, there are many others that are part of my life. Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Hymn of the Universe, are just a few that crowd my bookcases and my dreams.
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I feel very indebted to the writers mentioned above, but I also feel a kinship--almost as though they are part of my family. Isn't this true for all of us? Don't we read for that sense of connection? And, when we discover that another has traveled a similar path as we, isn't it then that we become friends?
There is a reason a person writes; I try to find that reason. I want to know the person sitting at his or her desk, and when I discover the author's heartbeat between the lines of prose, I join them on their journey.