I Rise with Maya: #sol15 5/31

I’ve been waking up most mornings with nothing to write about. Calmly, I start clicking around the web, reading fresh Slices or clicking around my websites. Facebook was my treasure chest today. I found Maya Angelou this lit up and watched and listened to her share her I RISE poem twice, with eyes closed.

Years ago, when I was teaching in Pearl River and traveling to New York City, every Monday night for the 92nd St.Y’s Poetry Center, one night my friend Hilda and I feasted on a surprise performance by Maya Angelou for two of the fastest hours of my life. A feast of Maya Angelou, dancing around the stage, singing, sharing poetry, talking with us, and everything came from her mind, no notes.

Maya Angelou got into my head and heart that night and she’s never left me. I went home and started reading everything she wrote-all the books in her memoir series, every book of her poetry. She became my fantasy friend and I became her champion.

I’m sitting in our living room and watching the snow falling, AGAIN and I’m back with Hilda applauding Maya, hoping she will keep sharing her golden nuggets with us, encore after encore until she waves, disappears, the stage lights dim and there’s silence as we exit the auditorium slowly and head for home.

I’m sure that if I call Hilda right now, so many years later, she could return with me to relive that night with Maya Angelou. So after I finish this Slice first I’m going back to You Tube to reconnect with Maya and that gem of a night and then Hilda will be my first call.

I RISE!!!!

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10 thoughts

  1. Beautiful. A few years ago I took my granddaughter Mayaoel to see Maya Angelou speak at Chico State. She was old and infirm then, didn’t get up from her chair at all, but her voice and spirit were strong. She inspired us with her words. After the show we followed her bus out of town, just because we could. I hope my granddaughter always remembers that one evening she was in the presence of this great woman.

  2. Oh, she was mesmerizing, wasn’t she?! I’ve heard and read this poem so many times, and it STILL brings tears to my eyes. I got to see Maya at Miami University when I was in college 25 years ago, and I remember sitting in my seat after the performance was over, stunned, not wanting to get up and leave. She was so fabulous. It was a great loss to the world when she left us. Thank you so much for sharing this today!

  3. I love to listen to her poems with my eyes closed too. 🙂 And I picture the words, floating around. Such a beautiful person!

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