“Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.”
This past year has been an interesting one for me, especially when it comes to words. I have discovered I am a quote addict. I love words that fill me with emotion any emotion, but especially the types that drive me forward and make me see the world through fresh eyes, realistic eyes, eyes that know life is so much more than the fairytale we THINK we want to live. Life is simply life and it is an amazing gift that we owe to ourselves and others to share.
My rediscovery of poetry started with fiction, I gobbled down the GAME OF THRONES Series (“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” ― George R.R. Martin), breathed in THE HUNGER GAMES books (“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” ― Suzanne Collins) and infused DIVERGENT series (“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” ― Veronica Roth).
I’m constantly searching for quotes on life and inspiration and collecting them in Pinerest along with beautiful art infectious colors and fascinating characters. I found Rumi – “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”, Mahatma Gandhi–“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”, Mother Teresa–“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”, Martin Luther King Jr–“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”, Mary Oliver – “I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.”, Walt Whitman–“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls” and William Wordsworth (what a great name for a writer!) – “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”,Johann Wolfgang von Goethe –“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”…Maya Angelou –“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” and so many more.
I found the video above in my search and it made me pause; pause and think about the words I use, how I speak and who I want to be as I walk through this world. I don’t know I would or could live up to Ms. Angelou; her strength, integrity and conviction are astounding, but it is something I strive to.
I’m almost ashamed to admit that I am newcomer to Maya Angelou. Most people I hear or read about have been reading her work for decades. And I say “almost” ashamed because truly I’m not, I am excited that I found her, discovered her, listened to her while she still walked this earth. And I am saddened that no more words will come forth to breathe life into our weary minds. Yet her voice remains, as does her teachings and the philosophies she has passed to us and I am excited that I have so much more to discover.
On finding her Voice:
I for the first time in years in so many ways have found my voice!
This is something I wrote inspired by Ms. Angelou’s view on the power of words. The more books I read and quotes I acquire, the more my voice longs to sing as the caged bird does because deep down I know I, like everyone who walks this earth, has something important to say.
“I want to write. To remember how to write and know that my words are filled with love and hope and imagination. Every word is a gift given and taken. Choose them wisely. Share them openly. Write them, speak them, listen to them read them for they are the breath through which we interpret life!”
In this blog I have a Mission page. This page is filled with the inspiring words of amazing women. I hope you will take a moment to read the compilation that fuels my life. I have discovered that what I say determines so much; my reactions, my solutions. If my words are negative, my anger grows it feeds itself. If my words are positive, supportive and kind I am able to find the good in whatever I’m doing. It is us who have the answer for ourselves. We can guide our lives in one direction or another.
Thank you Maya for teaching me the enormity of what I say and how it determines and drives what I believe.
I choose my words with care and love; these words define me.
On being Human Maya shares…
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
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
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.”
― Maya Angelou
3 thoughts on “Thank you Maya Angelou for your words…Words..WORDS!”
Humpbacks by Mary Oliver
Off Stellwagen, off the Cape, the humpbacks rise.
Carrying their tonnage of barnacles and joy
they leap through the water, then nuzzle back under it
like children at play. They sing, too.
And not for any reason you can’t imagine.
Three of them rise to the surface near the bow of the boat,
then dive deeply, their huge scarred flukes tipped to the air.
We wait, not knowing just where it will happen; then
suddenly they smash through the surface, someone begins
shouting for joy and you realize it is yourself as they surge
upward and you see for the first time
how huge they are, as they breach and dive,
and breach again through the shining blue flowers
of the split water and you see them for some unbelievable
part of a moment against the sky–
like nothing you’ve ever imagined–
like the myth of the fifth morning galloping
out of darkness, pouring heavenward, spinning;
then they crash back under those black silks
and we all fall back together into that wet fire,
you know what I mean.
I know a captain who has seen them playing with seaweed,
swimming through the green islands,
tossing the slippery branches into the air.
I know a whale that will come to the boat whenever
she can, and nudge it gently along the bow with her long flipper.
I know several lives worth living.
Listen, whatever it is you try to do with your life,
nothing will ever dazzle you like the dreams of your body,
its spirit longing to fly while the dead-weight bones
toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire
even the great whale,
throbs with song.
Mary Oliver also offers a lesson. Hope you like this one.
Funny you chose her, she is actually my favorite poet! I just went to a book signing a few months ago…it was sooo exciting to see her – ll my books are signed!!! 🙂