Art and the philosophy of life

Marie Langston Carter


Photo of Corinne Michel West (1908-99), taken by Jon Boris: from Pinterest

Marie was a poet, a thrill seeker and an artist.  She had a style of her own and she didn’t care what anyone else thought.  She was a free spirit and marched to her own drummer.  Her poems were deep and life changing.  She wrote about her own life and the things she had seen during her travels.  Her poems were about love, hate, war, compassion, poverty, death and beauty.   She left bits of herself in each of her poems.

Men fell in love with Marie quickly and fully.  She enjoyed them but never promised anything more than a few hours of her time.  She had no desire to meet the needs of another person and was happy with the life she led.  Children would have tied her down and having to cater to a man was never on her agenda.

During her travels she met great people, famous people and people in desperate need.  She saw clearly that the world was divided into the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’  She did what she could, wherever she went, and when she spoke to others she never failed to mention the terrible discrepancy between the rich and the poor.  She told university graduating classes the truth about war. She told them about the never ending screaming and dying.  She read poems dedicated to mothers mourning their dead children and she read poems about happy children who had nothing at all.  She assigned the task of changing the world to those who had come to hear her speak.  She asked them not to let her down…not to let themselves, or the world, down…but she knew that they would.

Marie was serious about life but her paintings were unrestrained and filled with joy.  Having seen the darker side of things, she celebrated the the best of it in splashes of color.  Her paintings sold before they could be hung on gallery walls.  Her passion for life drew people in and made them hungry for what they couldn’t seem to get for themselves.

Until the end of her life, Marie continued to speak for the disenfranchised.  She continued to travel and tell the stories of those who had no voice.  Her poems continued to inform and enchant and her paintings continued to sell.  Two days before she was hit by a car and killed,  she spoke to a sold out crowd at The Art Institute of Chicago, where one of her paintings had just been installed.  She received a standing ovation.

Wherever Marie went, she made a difference.  She paid attention.  She listened.  She watched.  She reported.  She made the world a better place and that’s the best legacy of all.

I made this story up, just so you know.


Comments on: "Marie Langston Carter" (35)

  1. Reblogged this on raulconde001 and commented:
    Enjoy the brief biography of Marie Langston Carter.

  2. […] Another charming and life-affirming short story from Gigi at Rethinking Life. […]

  3. She sounds like the sort of person the world needs more of in my opinion

  4. What a beautiful story Bling! When I first saw the eyes on the photo I thought they look like my Gma Antell’s eyes! She used to have big eyes like this! I love this story Bling! 😀 ❤

    • Thank you Bling. She’s so beautiful I had to write about her:) I always forget to add that it’s fiction and I made it up. 🙂 I went back and added that so people don’t think she was really that person. 🙂

      • Bling you write so convincingly and cleverly that she seems real! I love that about your writing! 😀 ❤

      • Thank you but I need to let people know it’s fiction…and I always forget to do that. Argg. As soon as I’m finished with the story I just post it, thinking everyone knows it’s something I made up. Oh well, I’ll try to do it next time. 🙂 Have a great day Bling, it’s still raining and dark here…constant drizzle and rain. Better than cold and snow any day”) Yay for no cold and snow. 🙂

  5. This is a great story…who knows, maybe there was someone like her out there….that maybe wasn’t ended by a car 🙂

    • I believe there are women just like her. Photojournalists who go to war zones and tell their stories, so I agree…let’s just agree that there is someone like her out there right now. 🙂 Thank you.

  6. OMG I think I feel inadequate. Wait, no, that’s just my cold. LOL I think I’ll go back to sleep. 🙂

    • Oh, sorry you have a cold and I think you should go back to bad for a bit. Never hurts to sleep a little longer, especially during the winter. It has been so dark here it’s hard to tell whether it’s day or night.

      • It’s been warm here, but I’ve been too busy coughing up my lungs to take advantage of the walking weather. Sadly. I’ve been coughing so hard I wrenched my neck in my sleep. I’m a pathetic case.

      • OMG you poor thing. That’s a bad cough for sure. You aren’t pathetic, you’re sick. Coughing is tough on your body. It’s been warm here too but it NEVER stops raining and drizzling so it’s damp and raw. AND IT’S ALWAYS DARK!!!!! Other than that. I’m trying to catch Emily so I can take her to the vet. She’s sick. I went to the vet and they gave me a cage. I put her electric bed in it so I’m hoping she will walk right into it. My son-in-law came over to help me but I was getting the cage and he scared her so she ran away. Now she’s sick and out in the rain and I’m so terrified for her. She has a truly warm and sheltered place to stay by me and I know she’ll come home but she’s never been afraid because no one has been here before (at least that she’s seen, so I hope she doesn’t stay away). Everyone told me not to do feed the animals. There are three huge skunks in the yard right now, eating the cat food that the crows eat, so I can’t go out there. They would run away but I don’t want to take the chance and get sprayed. I can’t wait until Emily comes home. The vet is open until 8. I hope you feel better soon. You have been sick for a while now and it’s exhausting.

      • Thanks, Gigi. It takes a brave woman to be friends to the skunks. They paralyze me. I hope Emily comes home soon, poor baby. Still cats are good at finding dry spots. Fingers crossed for you and her. I got through my errands today. Yeah! My hubby had to drive me because I can’t look over my shoulders. And I had to go because he’s caught my cold and lost his voice. We’re lame and lamer. I hope we’re better soon. XOXO

      • She’s home and I hope I get her in tomorrow. She came when I called her at 10:00 but she’s sneezing all the time and shaking her head. She’s sick. Tomorrow morning I’m going to put her treats in the cage (she’s already gotten them out of there) and see if I can’t push her all the way in. I’m so sorry you two are in the grasp of yukky colds. That could be the title of a move…Lame and Lamer. Seriously, I do hope you are both better soon.

      • We’re on the mend, but I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday! Zzzz…

      • It’s SOOOOOOOO dark here, it’s hard to tell what time, or what day, it is at all. I’m so glad you’re getting better.

      • Thanks, Gigi. What say we meet up in Aruba and work on our tans? LOL

      • Aruba in the middle of winter…I’m FOR that!!! Your cold will go away and we can definitely work on our tans. Sigh.

  7. Your blog is making a difference just as you say Marie made in her life.

  8. I so love that when you see these old photographs they whisper their stories to you. MAybe they tell you the stories of who they wished they really were.

    • You might be right because sometimes I start one and have to start over because I know it’s wrong. They know what they want me to say. So I just listen and write what they want me to write. Makes it easier for both of us:)

  9. Scheduled to post on A4P the day after Chickmas 🙂

  10. She is the sort of human soul that we need to meet regularly, as we listen to her, sweet story

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