“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”
Another bright light has gone out. The incomparable Maya Angelou, activist, poet, historian, wordsmith, director, dancer, role model, and true citizen of the world, passed away this morning.
I have always been a fan of Ms. Angelou, though I have never been much of a fan of poetry. The genre rarely ever speaks to me; I suspect I lack the patience. But I couldn’t help but be moved by Ms. Angelou’s work. Her voice was one impossible to ignore.
I don’t pretend to be a Maya Angelou scholar, so whatever I could write about her would be learned from other sources. Therefore, I thought her words would be better than anyone else’s. A more quotable lady there never was.
“Be wary when a naked person offers you his shirt”
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
“Life likes to be taken by the lapel and told, “I’m with you kid. Let’s go!”
“Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?”
– And Still I Rise
I learned today that at the age of 16, Ms. Angelou became San Francisco’s first female streetcar driver. She was even a fascinating teenager!
While looking for quotations, I came upon a lovely series of interview excerpts on the Academy of Achievement website, which I thought I would share.
And don’t miss Ruthie Foster’s song based upon Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman.”
P.S. Between yesterday’s tribute to the loveable and fascinating Stormé DeLarverie and losing Maya Angelou this morning, the OBT blog is taking a decidedly depressing turn. I promise to post something completely frivolous tomorrow.