There I Go, Rising (a tribute to Maya Angelou) – Volume 31

I learned a valuable lesson from Dr. Maya Angelou, one that helps me look at myself–and others–through the eyes of pragmatic compassion:

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 

Her death saddens me beyond (my own) words. Funny how it is her own words that now offer me the most comfort, and with them, I offer tribute to a Phenomenal Woman. Through her words–her gift and legacy–still she rises, like dust, like air, like hope.

Look … there she goes …. rising!

Love, light, and words,
Christy and Jennie

Dr. Maya Angelou, via Wiki

Dr. Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014
image via Wiki

***

“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘Well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“There were people who went to sleep last night,
poor and rich and white and black,
but they will never wake again.

And those dead folks would give anything at all
for just five minutes of this weather
or ten minutes of plowing.

So you watch yourself about complaining.

What you’re supposed to do
when you don’t like a thing is change it.
If you can’t change it,
change the way you think about it.”
― Maya Angelou

***

 “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“Ritie, don’t worry ’cause you ain’t pretty. Plenty pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind.”
― Maya AngelouI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

 ***

“Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.”
― Maya Angelou

 ***

“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”
― Maya AngelouLetter to My Daughter

***

“I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
― Maya Angelou

***

 “The sisters and brothers that you meet give you the materials which your character uses to build itself. It is said that some people are born great, others achieve it, some have it thrust upon them. In truth, the ways in which your character is built have to do with all three of those. Those around you, those you choose, and those who choose you.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“I’ve had so many rainbows in my clouds.

I had a lot of clouds.

But I have had so many rainbows. . . .

So I don’t ever feel I have no help; I’ve had rainbows in my clouds. And the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.”

***

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” ~ Maya Angelou

***

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

“When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou

***

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
― Maya Angelou

***

Come, and Be My Baby

by Maya Angelou

The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn
Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass
And you sit wondering
where you’re going to turn
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow
But others say we’ve got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
What you’re gonna do.
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.

***

“The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don’t know my story…”
― Maya Angelou

***

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”
― Maya Angelou

***

“I do not need to know all things. I remind myself that it is sufficient that I know what I know and know that without believing that I will always know what I know or that what I know will always be true.”
― Maya Angelou

***

Recovery

by Maya Angelou

A last love,
proper in conclusion,
should snip the wings
forbidding further flight.

But I, now,
reft of that confusion,
am lifted up
and speeding toward the light.

***

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around. I’ll probably be writing when the Lord says, ‘Maya, Maya Angelou, it’s time.”
― Maya Angelou

 ***

 

– Dr. Angelou’s last “tweet” on 1:43 PM – 23 May 2014.

***

“There I go — rising.”

Still 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
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise

***

via MayaAngelou.com

Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014
via MayaAngelou.com

 

~~~

 

17 comments

  1. What a beautiful tribute. I’ve loved her since I was able to read…you girls truly did her justice with your selections. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mishedup · ·

    Thank you for this, my morning meditation today.
    I love the poem When Great Trees Fall…I first found that after Tom died and have sent it in cards to others who have had someone die since…my go to.
    And her own beautiful eulogy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love most how she concluded “When Great Trees Fall”

      “We can be. Be and be
      better. For they existed”

      Those are my most favorite lines and I always feel a lightness as I read them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, Christy.

    Like

  4. This is absolutely beautiful. I never knew how powerful her words were until I read these poems. I love so many of her words- especially about the one with her writing. I’ve stopped blogging for a bit but I think I’ll start again. Thank you for sharing with the world her beautiful words.

    Like

    1. So glad you enjoyed! Her words are mighty powerful. If you enjoyed the one on her writing, I bet you’d love the Daily Post’s collection:
      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/maya-angelou/

      Glad to hear you may start blogging again. I go through ups and downs with blogging; I think it’s only natural. Stop by whenever your schedule permits 🙂
      xoxo, Christy

      Like

  5. […] This is in tribute of the late Maya Angelou. Thanks to these ladies. […]

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    1. Thank you for sharing! ❤

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on The River Continues to Flow and commented:
    Below is a great post on Maya Angelou.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging and sharing with your readers, appreciated! -christy

      Like

  7. Some of the same poems hit us just as hard, seemed most appropriate to share after losing her. Thanks for all of these wonderful quotes as well.

    Like

    1. She truly was a “great tree” wasn’t she? Many people are better for her existence.

      I enjoyed your reading of “When Great Trees Fall” and your tribute to Dr. Angelou. When you get a sec, be sure to listen to her reciting her own “Still I Rise.” She gives it a shot of adrenaline and, oh, that laugh. Many many will miss that laugh.

      Glad you followed the breadcrumbs here too! Thanks to Hippie for giving me the bread.

      Like

      1. Aw, gotta love Hippie C. Thank you! And yes, I do love that reading of “Still I Rise.” I was fun recording “No Loser, No Weeper,” and “Come and Be My Baby.” Such a simple, perfect little love poem, that one.

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  8. Thank you for sharing the great words of the missed Poet. We must keep her words alive. This is how we keep her words and voice alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Coyote, I appreciate them.
      Nice to see you, I really enjoy your work.
      Take care, Christy

      Like

  9. Hey Christy,

    What a wonderful tribute to Dr. Angelou. Beautiful words spoken by a beautiful soul. She is what writing is all about…what humanity is all about.

    It’s taken awhile, and I’m not sure I’m completely back to feeling normal, but I’m finally getting out and about more since Mom’s death. Social. Good to see you again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. wonderful tribute – wonderful!!!
    🙂

    Like

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