“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore. The traditions of our childhood help to shape the adults we have become. Aside from the food associated with the holidays were the church services, the hymns, the clothes, and all of the trappings of the seasons. Growing […]

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso. I am always amazed that my hand cannot produce what my mind sees.  I love to draw, and frequently illustrate my lectures with beautiful sketches of human organs. My audience is not as impressed as I would hope.  […]

“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.” ~ Khalil Gibran. I don’t remember the first poem I ever learned although I’m sure it was a ‘nursery rhyme’.  One of my aunts gave me a book of poetry when I was quite young. It was entitled ‘The […]

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ~ Maya Angelou. My childhood was filled with all kinds of music, from hymns and gospel music; soundtracks of musicals; calypso and jazz; classical and blues; reggae and rock and roll; it wasn’t until I went […]

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe. I always thought I had a pretty good vocabulary. Until I went back to school in my fifties.  As the youngest of the family, I listened and learned from those older than me.  I had access […]

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” ~ Stella Adler. The power of the poet is their ability to crystallize and synthesize diverse situations into a few lines that leave a lasting impression.  I don’t remember when it was that I learned about a couple of English […]

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot. I was born in a cold and rainy city, in a cold December month.  At that time in England, the most common heating source in the houses was a coal fire-place.  Coal was dirty, full of dust, brought deep out […]

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” ~ Langston Hughes. When I relocated from the UK to Jamaica at the age of almost eight, one of my first friends who lived close by had the added bonus of a having a houseful of younger siblings.  […]

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” ~ Desmond Tutu. I grew up hearing African freedom songs.  In my early years as a child in Jamaica, there was no television.  My parents had brought their eclectic record collection and a record player, and in the evening my father […]

“But I’d rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave.” ~ James Chambers aka Jimmy Cliff. When you grow up in the country, (especially in Jamaica) the facts of life and in particular, death, are hard to avoid.  You can hear the sounds of a hog squealing […]