The Mourning of Maya Angelou… a meditation in gratitude and love.
This MOURNING… Maya Angelou passed away… Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet, and Mother to all little girls….
I am thinking about what this means to me as a writer, a woman, a Black Latina, a lesbian, a mother and a little girl…
A little girl who kept many journals growing up because the pages were the only REAL place I could tell my deepest secrets to.
My journals were where I could hit back–except on those days where I actually did fight back putting my hands on other little girls and boys.
My journals were were I wrote about all the things that caused me pain. Journals that were either lost or thrown away because I didn’t know at the time how important keeping journals and writing would be to a little girl lost… I didn’t know that this would be the place that would save me as a woman. I didn’t know that HERE in the pages I would have a place that would keep my secrets safe.
MAYA ANGELOU was this voice for little girls, who “Know Why the Caged Bird Sings…”
Maya would be our voice until we discovered that we have had the power all along to tap into our own.
As a writer, she reminded me that words could be weapons of peace, of LOVE, of strength, of painful truths, and a way to tell and preserve of our history. She reminded me that THIS is how we serve and tell our stories and share all that we are with the world.
What Maya has given the woman in me… is this FIRE… this power… this light… found through her words, her poetry, her presence… that has served as a mirror reminding and reflecting back the beauty that is me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Excerpt from PHENOMENAL WOMAN, by Maya Angelou
Before I began this day I set an intention for all I wanted to achieve today… then I saw the words, “Maya Angelou, age 86, passes away….” and this day now has greater significance for me.
Today all of my writing is in honor of the GREAT, incredibly talented, brilliant, beautiful, and magnificent Maya Angelou.
Today I will remember Maya and all the woman who have prepared a path for me to follow lovingly and respectfully, never forgetting who has come before me.
Today, I will write… I will write… I will write… I will write.. I will write…
Today. I will remember why I am here.
Today, I will not waste any more time.
Today, I will go after it!
Today, I RISE!
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread 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 offend 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 history’s shame
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.
You are loved MAYA ANGELOU and you will be missed.
And so it is. Aché
Rest beloved.. you are home!