Sunday, December 5, 2010

there's just something about Maya

Ever since I was in junior high and first read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, I have been intrigued, fascinated, in awe of and inspired by the life and influence of this incredibly wise and intelligent woman. Every poem, every book, every quote that I have ever read by her, every interview or film I have seen her in has captured and arrested my attention. It's as if she puts a spell on me and I simply cannot shut my eyes or plug my ears, and nor do I want to.

If you know of Maya Angelou, you must know what I am talking about. If you do not know of her, get to know her. I promise you will not regret it.

There are countless quotes and poems by Maya that I love and count as my favorites. I couldn't possibly list them all, but here are a few:

"When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

...When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say. "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow."

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

"While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation."

"The sadness of the women's movement is that they don't allow the necessity of love. See, I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed."

"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean."

"All great achievements require time."

"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it."

"I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life'."

"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you."

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her."

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

"You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody."

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. "

"You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I'll rise!"

"Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman"

"The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise."

"Most people don't grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging."

"The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed." 







I was once posed a question: "If you could choose five people in history, living or dead, to sit down with and have a conversation for a day, who would you choose?"
Besides Jesus Christ, Maya Angelou was at the top of my list.

I love this woman.
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