Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And Still I Rise

Because I loved her
Because she was my spiritual Mother
Because she opened my eyes to oppression and how to peacefully resist it
Because she showed me what a human being can overcome
Because she opened the door for me to better understand humankind
Because I love her books, her voice, her philosophy, and her spirit...

For all these reasons and so many more; I will mourn Maya Angelou.
I am saddened by her passing, but her words dance still in my heart.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou

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 offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

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.
For the tiny minority still reading, here are some favorite quotes:
  • Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
  • If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story.
  • I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.
  • We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
  • You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  • My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
  • I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
  • I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.
  • The love of the family, the love of the person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.
  • Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.
  • Nothing will work unless you do.
  • It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
  • I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
  • Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

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