Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou passed away this morning. I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to remember this amazing woman. I feel she has gotten me through some turbulent times in  my life.

The Gamut

Soft you day, be velvet soft,
My true love approaches,
Look you bright, you dusty sun,
Array your golden coaches.

Soft you wind, be soft as silk
My true love is speaking.
Hold you birds, your silver throats,
His golden voice I'm seeking.

Come you death, in haste, do come
My shroud of black be weaving,
Quiet my heart, be deathly quiet,
My true love is leaving.

-Maya Angelou

In my heartbroken youth her words soothed and strengthened me. They empowered me. Made me remember who I was and who I wanted to be.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s 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.
I say,
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
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

-Maya Angelou

So often she wrote the words that were in my heart. I wasn't alone.


Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

- Maya Angelou

Later in life I was able to meet my hero. I had front row seats to listen to this wise woman speak. She spoke about hope and her words filled me with hope. Suffering from Alzheimer's my father had just been moved into a nursing home a few weeks earlier and to listen to a woman who had been to hell and back talk about hope was just what I needed to hear.  It was uplifting and spiritual. I will never forget it.

Thank you, Ms. Angelou, for your wisdom and your strength and your example. You have left a mark on this world. A legacy. May you rest in God's eternal peace.


Bijoux said...

How wonderful that she touched your life!

Elaine Alguire said...

She was a truly amazing woman and beautiful example of a human in so many ways. Her loss is definitely felt BIG. RIP Maya Angelou...

Hilary said...

A lovely, loving tribute to this gem of a human being. Lucky you for being able to hear her speak in person. My favourite quote was the one about knowing and doing better. May she rest in peace.

Jennifer MommyLifeAfterPh.D. said...

I absolutely LOVE that last quote--I think about it often, how I make others feel and pray everyday that the result is "happy." Thanks for sharing!

betty said...

Beautiful tribute! I have to say I really never knew much about her, but I am glad she/her writing was there when you needed those words, that lift.


Tabor said...

I have always loved her spirit and her generosity of heart. Thanks for posting these words of hers!

Wisconsin Girl said...

Lovely! She was such an inspiration to so many and our world is different because of her.

lime said...

i too was saddened to hear of her passing. what a remarkable, phenomenal woman. her words touched me too. thank you so much for sharing your own encounter with her. how fortunate to have had that opportunity. how meaningful that it was at that time in your life. may she rest in peace.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson