award-winning documentarian: radio + music + photography
Dearest Global Renaissance Woman, Dr. Maya Angelou,
Although your body and spirit have separated recently, your presence is undeniable.
I'd like to take this moment to thank you for living your life with such an exquisitely insatiable curiosity for truth.
You were a remarkable example of dynamic resilience and creativity inside the human form, moved to fill page upon page of translation from your rich and fertile being. Not just in the written word, oh no. In music, film, theater, dance and other various expressions, you mastered the craft of tuning inward to listen, inquire and then create. Even your tweet a mere 5 days before your death wisely said, "Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God." The voice of creative force in all of us is the very truth of existence, waiting, beckoning to be received, held, and, then, released, hopefully, to bring more light to this world.
You lived that way, Dr. Angelou, all the way to your quiet, dignified passing at home with loved ones surrounding. Your soul was able to completely let go, rest and expand into the Great Eternal Mystery where we will all return. Because of our common origin and destination you were able to see the beauty and possibility in yourself and, hence, in all human beings.
Today, the capacity to listen to ourselves is becoming a biological imperative, particularly when inundated like never before with marketing, technology and the mass quantities of stuff we think we need outside of ourselves to be ok, to be enough, to be worthy. We cannot buy our way out, but we can imagine a new way through, and that, I think, is by listening. It gives me great solace to know that you, Dr. Angelou, didn't write your first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, until your 40th year around the sun. Before you focused on this historic writing, your despair and grief must have been so unbearable to realize "the need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind."
You couldn't be caged. Oh no. You liberated yourself from darkness into the healing waters of your destiny by owning your uncommon, unlikely path as a best-selling author, poet, editor, essayist, screenwriter, director, actress, playwright, producer, dancer, singer, teacher, civil rights activist, and mother. I salute you! I celebrate you for your courageous, inspired life of bone deep compassion, unwavering humility, and tremendous gratitude for a brilliant turnaround. You re-framed your life to make it thrive!
Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou, Global Renaissance Woman, for living a life so alive and real and connected to life far beyond your own. You will inspire me until my last breath, and beyond.