There are people that are put on this earth for the purpose of feeding others. I have always felt that's what Maya was here to do. Yes, to live her life but man, I know so many women whose spirit has been fed by the words weaved together from experience, wisdom, joy and pain that it is hard to fathom Maya not being here to nurture us. Everything that I will ever want to say, I feel like Dr. Angelou has already penned in some way, shape, form or fashion. My college years are painted with her words, strewn together by the thread of her experiences and fancied into the dress of life by thoughts of pursuing my dreams and daring to dare because someone before me has done so.
Today, my first painted lady butterfly came out of her chrysalis and the symbolism is not lost on me. This caterpillar shifting into its new shape.
We all take ownership of Maya, don't we? She belonged to us all because she dared to share her story with us and by doing so, we found so much of her in us. The words, the feelings, the experiences. The growing that we all did during those early adulthood years when, like a child donning its parents clothes during playtime, we didn't quite fit into that title yet. So many of us grew with her words inside our head, fortifying our spirit.
My words are not enough. So I leave you with hers.
"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.â€
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
"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."
"I believe the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare."
"Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency."
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I love this interview:
We can be. For you existed, dear Maya. Godspeed.