When my father died, those years when he was working on the Hubble came back to me, and it seemed fitting to imagine him as having somehow merged with the large mystery that the universe represents.
If there is one thing I fear less than everything else, it is, I believe, persecution for my opinions. There are a good many points about which I may be diffident, but when it comes to questions of Truth and intellectual independence, there is no holding me – I can envisage no finer end than to sacrifice oneself for a conviction.
I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you’re going. That’s family values.
The strength that I have comes from irrigating the citrus plantation, ploughing in the vineyard, guarding the melon fields at night. I believe that’s what gave me the strength.
Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.
This man, although he appeared so humble and embarrassed in his air and manners, and passed so unheeded, had inspired me with such a feeling of horror by the unearthly paleness of his countenance, from which I could not avert my eyes, that I was unable longer to endure it.
Life hands us a lot of hard choices, and other people can help us more than we might realize. We often think we should make important decisions using just our own internal resources. What are the pros and cons? What does my gut tell me? But often we have friends and family who know us in ways we don’t know ourselves.
I’m mostly influenced by life, what’s around me, and my own childhood.
For a time, I believed not in God nor Santa Claus, but in mermaids. They seemed as logical and possible to me as the brittle twig of a seahorse in the zoo aquarium or the skates lugged up on the lines of cursing Sunday fishermen – skates the shape of old pillowslips with the full, coy lips of women.
The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists.