Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A loss of light and clarity

Maya Angelou passed into the next life this morning after battling health issues recently. I find myself unexpectedly moved by the loss of her spirit and her determination. We shall not see her like again, I am sure, and I am grateful she was possessed of both her voice and her cognition until the last.

I followed her Facebook page, and loved to read her insights, quotations of her work, and perspective on the human condition. More often than not, I found something to think about over the course of my day. That, to me, is the best kind of writing, that which makes you think, or inspires you to more.

Years and years ago, I read the poem below, and my perspective on myself was altered. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that all of it applies to the way I carry myself through this life, but I'd like to think most of it does, or at least, that is what I am striving for.

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.

I think it's time to go back and re-read her writings at this stage of my life. She will be so very missed.

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