I did not know at first that it would be a series; I discovered after the first novel that I had more to say about it, so I did another. And another, and then the readers demanded yet more.
I did not know at the time, but what I did at that swimming pool on the east side of Wilmington paved the way for Barack Obama.
I did not know how to paint a mural. I did not know how to prepare the surface. There was nobody from the Renaissance around who could advise me, and I did the best I could.
I did not know how to paint or even what to paint, but I knew I had to begin.
I did not know in the beginning how important the trip would be but we knew that Iran was in the crosshairs of the Neo-Conservative movement. And when you listen to Mr. Ted Cruz, the Republican presidential hopeful, and when you listen to Mr. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, when you listen to their language, it says to me that they are agents of the Neo-Conservative strategy.
I did not know it then, but Frida had already become the most important fact in my life. And would continue to be, up to the moment she died, 27 years later.
I did not know it was possible to be so miserable and live but I am told that this is a common experience.
I did not know it was such pain to die; I thought that life had taken all the agonies to itself.
I did not know many of the details relevant to the Iran and contra initiatives.
I did not know much history when I became a bombardier in the U.S. Air Force in World War II. Only after the War did I see that we, like the Nazis, had committed atrocities... Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, my own bombing missions. And when I studied history after the War, I learned from reading on my own, not from my university classes, about the history of U.S. expansion and imperialism.
I did not know that 'poetess' was an insult, and that I myself would some day be called one. I did not know that to be told I had transcended my gender would be considered a compliment. I didn't know -- yet -- that black was compulsory. All of that was in the future. When I was sixteen, it was simple. Poetry existed; therefore it could be written; and nobody had told me -- yet -- the many, many reasons why it could not be written by me.
I did not know that I can win the Nobel Prize.
I did not know that children think the hard questions they ask are easy and thus expect easy answers to them, and that they are disappointed when they get cautious, complex answers.
I did not know that for the things that unhorse you, for the things that wreck you, for the things that toy with your internal tide -- against those things, there is no conventional guard.
I did not know that history is like a blood stain that keeps on showing on the wall no matter how many new owners take possession, no matter how many times we pint over it.
I did not know that the first step in any domestic violence relationship is to seduce and charm the victim. I also did not know that the second step is to isolate the victim. The next step in the domestic violence pattern is to introduce the threat of violence and see how she reacts. We victims know something you non-victims usually don't. It's incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser, because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is to 'kill her'. Over 70% of domestic violence murders happens after the victim has ended the relationship.
I did not know that the planning for biological and chemical warfare was so widespread in England, and even in France before France fell. It was news to me that there had been talk, even in the First World War, of dropping Colorado beetles on German potato crops and that kind of thing.
I did not know that we had ever quarreled.
I did not know the woman I would be
nor that blood would bloom in me
each month like an exotic flower,
nor that children,
would break from between my legs.