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“There I go, rising.” ~Maya Angelou

 

I can’t honor Maya Angelou. I don’t have the right words.

 

What are the right words to honor someone who has found immortality?

 

It’s a rare thing to have, to be able to touch people that survive you. It’s a gift, a talent, one that Maya Angelou multiplied tenfold during her years here on Earth. Have you seen her speak? Heard her recite her art? It’s like she is in the room with you, rubbing your back, encouraging you. Inspiring you. Enlightening you. Her impact on the world is impressive, yes, but the personal impression she leaves on each individual who sees her recite or reads her poetry is an extraordinary thing all it’s own.

 

What can I say?

 

I’m a writer and I’m at a loss for words.

 

To be honest with you I have been trying to get a post out about her for days now and for days now I have not been able to produce one that expresses her importance in a way I deem sufficient to do her amazing life justice. I lack the skill.

I’ve decided to write something anyway.

 

Maya Angelou.

You would not reading this had it not been for her.

She inspired me to write. To smile. To stand tall and RISE in the face of adversity. She told me about people; how to learn them and how to accept them. How to SEE them. How to see ME. She taught me to stop, to look, to listen, to dream, to aspire, to inspire. She teaches me new things every day.

 

What can I say?

 

She does more than move us to tears. She moves us to action. To compassion. To thoughtfulness and to indignance. To humility. To love. To write, to draw. To dance, to yell and to move with passion. To look. To REALLY look. To touch, to give, and to help.

 

Really? What can I say?

 

I cannot articulate the influence that she has had on me any more than I can truly articulate the powerful influence that she had on us during her lifetime. I don’t know how to explain the rising coolness in my chest whenever I read her masterpieces. The reason why the driest eyes moisten and the hardest faces soften at the sound of her low, ripened voice reciting a piece or speaking her wisdom. Why it felt her poems were talking directly to me. Not to us. Not to them. To ME.

 

What can I say?

 

I don’t know.

 

Rest in power, Maya Angelou.

 

I Am Human

 

 

Still I Rise

 

 

The Mask

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