Dripping River Water


the books that shaped me June 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 2:03 am
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I was never a good student.  Never the kind the nuns liked.  I really wanted to get straight As and have my name called with honors.  It just never happened.  I knew I was smart and great at some things but something inside of me stopped me from excelling.  I can blame it on the ten million things that traumatized my childhood but  I am an adult now.  

I can not tell you what exact thing or person or place changed my life.  I can not tell you that one day I woke and I was no longer sad, no longer felt blocked, no longer felt the weight of the world on me.  I can not tell you that because it is not just one thing or one day.  It is the work that I have done since I was a child to lead the life that I am meant to live.

I was never good in school but I did read a whole lot.  That is how I got through my childhood.  Book after book, trip after trip to the library, I traveled to other places, met different people, learned about life in a way a couldn’t of in school.  I love learning.  I am just not a traditional learner.  Right now in this moment and it has been a real long moment I feel full, grounded and calm.  I see all the possibilities and somehow have the energy to make those possibilities realities.  I have made difficult decisions that have freed me in ways that sometimes I think I have wings.  I have not done this alone and I am thankful to my loved ones that love the complexities that complete me.  One of the ways I have grown is through reading.  This is not a full list but I wanted to share with you some of the books that have helped me transform and cry and laugh and grow and bloom.  Please share yours.

May you always seek light and see the infinite beauty within you.


The Qur’an

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou

Muhammad (pbuh)- Karen Armstrong

The House on Mango Street– Sandra Cisneros

Awakening the Buddhist Within- Lama Surya Das

The Art of Happiness- The Dalai Lama

Heart, Self and Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony– Robert Frager

True Love– Thich Nhat Hanh 

The Prophet- Kahlil Gibran

All About Love: New Visions– bell hooks

Bone Black- bell hooks

Salvation: Black People and Love- bell hooks

Sisters of the Yam: black women and self-recovery- bell hooks

Love Dharma: Relationship Wisdom From Enlightened Buddhist Women-Geri Larkin 

Waiting in the Wings– Cherríe Moraga

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color -edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa

The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santería- Marta Moreno Vega

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf- Ntozake Shange

The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships- Sobunfu Somé

Falling Out of Grace: Meditations on Loss, Healing and Wisdom- Sobunfu Somé

Down These Mean Streets- Piri Thomas

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose- Eckhart Tolle

The Color Purple- Alice Walker

The Autobiography of Malcolm X



One Response to “the books that shaped me”

  1. sistafromanotherplanet Says:

    I could REALLY relate to this. I have had a life long love affair with books and libraries as well.

    A few of the books that have helped to transform me are the same as yours surprisingly. Here are just a few of mine.

    The Qur’an
    The Art of Happiness (love that Dalai Lama!)
    The Energy of Prayer – Thich Nhat Hanh
    Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
    Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine – Bebe Moore Campbell
    Sacred Woman – Queen Afua
    I Am a Giant – Ivan Sherman (first book I could read all by myself)

    love, peace and blessings to you Maceo!

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