| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
Maya Angelou has died. Let's remember and LEARN from her life, LISTEN to her words, and allow her death to remind us to live and LOVE fully.
Read this article on Maya's life from today's New York Times.
What deep truths do you hear her life "speaking"? What lessons may be here for you? Keep listening and wondering...
STILL I RISE
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness often you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air; I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
- Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014)
(From And Still I Rise. Copyright @ 1978. Random House, Inc.)
What do you feel? Hear? Keep listening...
Set an intention for the coming week out of what's stirring in you. Maybe it's to take that next brave step forward. Or, to awaken to life more - to be fully present to it. Or, to decide to learn more from Maya's life: google her name; read one of her books or another poem; listen to an interview. Feel free to share your findings, your favorites, in the comments section.
Despite not speaking from 7 years of age to 13, Maya's grandmother knew she was destined to be a great teacher. And, so she was. Thank you, Maya, for being one of mine. I trust you are delighting in love and still pulling us to it.