I was not addicted to stealing in my youth, nor have ever been; yet such was the confidence of the Negroes in the neighborhood, even at this early period of my life, in my superior judgment, that they would often carry me with them when they were going on any roguery, to plan for them.
The overcoming of adversity and, ultimately, denying it the rite of passage, has been a constant and perpetual motive throughout my life.
Bob Weir calls me a saint, but I’m ‘Saint Misbehavin’.’ They’re making a documentary about my life, and that’s the current shooting title. I can roll with that, but otherwise the s-word makes me really paranoid.
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.
Perhaps this is one of the last remaining strands of my Catholic upbringing, but to me the word ‘worship’ means absolute unquestioning affirmation of the authority of the deity. I’ll not have that in my life. If you are wise, neither will you.
With me, even if my life depended on it, I wouldn’t be able to cry. Not with somebody there. Because even if I’m talking about bad and upsetting things, if there is somebody else in the room, I am trying to entertain them. If there is somebody there, I am in performance mode. I can only cry if I am on my own.
I always wanted a child. Being a mother is the central thing in my life.
I found that through my life, living in the city of Toronto, I look above the Pizza Pizza sign, and I look above the other signs and window dressing, and I see evidence of a city that no longer exists in the keystones and the decorations that line the tops of buildings. That presence of the old city has always moved me.
What you learn from my life is, first of all, that anybody can be a leader. You can be a leader. I wasn’t born that way – I developed it, I worked at it. And also that the grassroots can organize and take on all the powers that be and defeat them. That is the lesson.
Even though I am the daughter of a poet, and my stepmother is also a poet, growing up, I didn’t think I could understand poetry; I didn’t think that it had any relevance to my life, the feelings that I endured on a day-to-day basis, until I was introduced to the right poem.