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Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now

文章日期:2011年5月27日

Lately, I have been thinking of my mother almost every day, often many times a day. Coincidentally or otherwise, this book has at the same time repeatedly crept into my mind, sometimes very forcefully.

I have vivid recollections of the time many years ago when I was lost in the dark labyrinth of the messiest circumstances of my life. Utterly disoriented and absolutely drained of whatever confidence I might have acquired as a young woman, I constantly cried out for help, but none seemed to come. Even my dear mother, who was always an unfailing source of reassurance, was quiet. What am I to do?

In an almost irresponsible manner, I defied the challenge before me by drowning myself in books. Reading to me then was drinking to a wino. That was how I ran away from life, giving up all and no longer wanting to be the woman I had been so proud of before.

By sheer luck, this book on a used bookstore shelf caught my eye. Feeling it was some cheap booze – all I could afford at the time – to quench my thirst, I checked it out and headed home. Once home, I raced through the pages, once, twice, thrice, again and again, down to the very last drop of the bottle that I came to realize was, in fact, no cheap booze, but a rare old vintage.

The book restored my confidence in life and in myself – the book that is about being in all ways a woman; about living well and in style; about rising against odds; about having a say in shaping one’s own life; about carving one’s own niche, however small, in this big, big world; about making life a fair deal to oneself and to others…

It was as I read the book that it slowly dawned on me that my mother, instead of turning her back on me, was all along giving me sound advice by being a living example. Yes, Mother is in all ways a woman; she is living well and in style; all her life she has been rising against odds; she knows how to shape her own life; despite her feeble education background, she has been able to carve her own niche in a world that must be so foreign to her… Is that not what she wants me to be like? No, Mother was not quiet; she was speaking to me in Angelou’s book.

My mother passed away two months ago. She was and is a great woman to me. I see her every intention and word and deed from Angelou’s pen. Both ladies have indeed given me powerful instructions on how to be a woman. And I am a woman, ain’t I?

Reviewed by Ms. Brenda Mau, Principal of St. Mark's School

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