June 28th will mark one month since Dr Maya Angelou’s passing. I have wanted to write this since, but I simply wasn’t ready. I suppose you could say that I needed some time to process and reflect on the lessons I gained from her books, her poetry, her wit, her wisdom, her grace.
This blog was inspired by her. In fact the title, ARainbowInTheClouds, was inspired by the words I heard her speak in person. The very first blog post is about the time I saw Dr Angelou speak in Toronto. (You can read it here: http://wp.me/p1AZhb-6 .)
I watched the live streaming of Dr Angelou’s wake on June 7th+8th at home (you can watch it here: http://new.livestream.com/wfu/angelou ). I cried through most of it. It was such a wonderful celebration of joy, which she exuded much of. There were some powerful and amazing things said about Dr Angelou which I noted.
“As long as we have time, we should keep the courage to begin again.”~Bill Clinton sharing what he learned from Dr Angelou.
“When I look at you, I am really looking at mySelf in a different costume.”~Oprah sharing what Dr Angelou taught her.
“Anything that diminishes a human being, diminishes all of us.”~Guy Johnson on what his mother taught him.
After her passing, I went through my own meditation and reflections of her lessons, which I did through this sketch of her:
The greatest honour, I believe, that Dr Angelou was given at her wake is this one:
“Sequined in the black velvet sky of night,
shines a star with fiery hot, fire possessed,
leading all those who wish to claim what is right
to look within themselves and find their best.
Over my life shines this glorious beacon,
lighting my path through the dark shadow land.
With this as my guide
I shall not weaken my strive
to be a strong but gentle man.
Others had been led by its incandescence
to be more than mere flesh and bone.
To love and be loved is its true essence
for only the heart can change this world of stone.
Thus fortune graces me like none other
for this star,
is my mother.”~Guy Johnson’s poem for his mother, Dr Maya Angelou
Dr Angelou, you believed that words are things which seep into everything – walls, hair, hearts, spirit. There are not enough words to express the gratitude I feel in my heart for the love, lessons, life and wisdom you shared with the world. I agree with you – courage is the most important of all the virtues. It takes courage to love, to speak the truth, to forgive, to engage in our own soul flight. As I am typing this, I am watching birds in flight, high in the sky, and I am reminded, once again, why the caged bird not only sings, but is free – we all are, when we learn how to fly the wings of our soul, our spirit. Thank you.
“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word LOVE, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.”~Maya Angelou