The one with Maya Angelou...
If you are a writer or you dream of becoming one, then you will know exactly where I am coming from when I say that this woman was just divine.
Maya Angelou was an amazing lady. That's a known fact and while I am reading through her autobiography and articles on her in the last decades it is easy to conclude to this.
Dr. Maya Angelou, celebrated author, poet, producer and human rights activist was born in St.Louis Missouri, April 4, 1929. She published seven autobiographies, poetry books, plays and essays and received dozens of awards as well as over 30 honorary doctoral degrees.
She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
She was respected as a spokesperson of black people and women and her works have been considered a defense of black culture.
But to me, Maya Angelou throughout the years, has been very inspirational. When I was at university studying journalism, her name and her work came up so many times.
I would always come across a poem here, an autobiography there, a clever quote or a humanitarian act on the other side of the world. Maya Angelou seemed to be so incredibly talented, so brilliantly bright, life loving and insanely tireless. I admired her a lot and wish I could have been lucky enough to have met her.
I remember when we had to study poetry as part of a subject at university.
I had already read a lot of poetry (like every true romantic does) and studied philosophers of previous eras. But I always found them difficult to comprehend, complex in their thinking process and hard to "break down".
I turned to Maya Angelou. I started reading her poems and immediately found her so wonderfully authentic, effortlessly pure and totally uninterested in attempting to impress with difficult words and hidden meanings. I fell in love with her poems "On the pulse of the morning" and "Alone"..
And then something magical happened...Somehow, her poems seemed to have answers to everything I was going through at different times in my life.. That's the thing with her. The reader can always relate. Her work speaks right into someone's heart. And it sure did speak into my heart.
Her writing is simply powerful. And that to me is her ultimate success.
Like, that one time when I was finding it extremely hard to let go and she taught me the value of forgiveness. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” I did. It was hard. It worked. Pain. Forgiveness. Relief.
A few years ago when I had lost my smile.. she reminded me.. "Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives." She was right. You have to laugh and you have to remember to smile... No matter what, there is always tomorrow..
But the biggest lesson I have learnt from this amazing woman is that; at the end of my journey, how I make people feel is the only mark I will ever leave behind. So I need to make it worth remembering...we all do..
Maya Angelou passed away peacefully at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina before 8am on Wednesday 28th May, aged 86 and today I have decided to say goodbye to her and thank her for all the life lessons by borrowing some words from one of her poems...
"Now if you listen closely,
I will tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can her the moan,
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone.
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out hear alone".
Let's keep this woman in our thoughts, in our prayers and conversations like she has always wanted...
R.I.P. Maya Angelou