Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Her Majesty

I was at work today when I saw the announcement via email that Maya Angelou had passed. The quote below the headline:

"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.”

I like it. I like to think about what that means and how it applies in my experience and why it isn't true all the time . . . turning the idea around and around in the back of my head as I tend to do while going about my day.

It brought to mind a snapshot of reading Maya Angelou for the first time as a kid. Her words ran together like silk on the page. Hooked, I read everything I could find of hers until there was no more left.

Sitting in my cubicle today, I recognized a clear call for a quote on my chat status. Too bad Oprah already took rainbow cloud. Instead, I found,

"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities."

And *BAM* the authentic power of her words blows you right away. Words from an actual transformer of realities, who worked to uplift all people. We as a global village could use all the uplift we can get.

And love. We need love, as the Beatles often remind me in my living room and car these days. But, no one beats Maya Angelou in love quotes.

"I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn't just hold—that's ego. Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, 'I love you. I love you if you're in China. I love you if you're across town. I love you if you're in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I'd like to have your arms around me. I'd like to hear your voice in my ear. But that's not possible now, so I love you. Go.'"

Tell me your mouth wasn't hanging open by "Go."

I could fall in love with a sumo wrestler if he told stories and made me laugh. Obviously, it would be easier if someone was African-American and lived next door and went to the same church. Because then I wouldn't have to translate.

Falling in love with a sumo wrestler who tells funny stories? She's my hero.

Tonight I made solo dinner. I cooked up what I thought was going to be one grassfed frozen patty from TJ's but it was two frozen patties stuck together with paper in the middle. I couldn't get the thing apart. I tried a knife, a spatula, my fingers. My solution was to throw them in the pan stuck together so I could make the separation after a little heat.

Except it didn't work that way. After a scuffle with my meat, oil and bits sprayed across the counter and floor, I thought about never eating meat again before another quote came to mind - have I mentioned that OCD runs in the family?

My life has been one great big joke, a dance that's walked a song that's spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.

I'm convinced that learning to laugh at ourselves til we almost choke would cure about half the world's ills. But good point about not actually choking.

And finally, my last Maya moment to share with you today. After I updated my chat status at work, I turned away from my computer and blinked, surprised by something I had forgotten about. A couple weeks ago, I had attached one of those tea bottle caps with a quote to the wall of my cubicle.

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

I consider liking yourself the achievement of a lifetime. I'm satisfied with halfway acceptance for now.

But I'll keep trying. Thank you, Ms. Maya. 

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