What a profound and moving event Mariah and I attended. Dr. Maya Angelou is part of the Los Angeles Music Center Speaker Series. The series itself contains 5 speakers, one of which was Maya. I only wanted to buy tickets just to hear her, but, could not unless I paid for the whole series. Actually… it killed me to shell out a close to seven hundred bucks, (yes, not a typo $700) but in hindsight and after hearing her speak, I'd double that!!
Let’s get back to the Maya. I take a breath of gratitude and sigh a sigh contentment at the thought of that night. I didn’t know what to expect. I admit my ignorance. All I knew about Maya is what I read in from her cards at Hallmark. She is poet, a singer, a dancer, a director, an author, a producer, an actor, etc… etc. Her list of accomplishments reads on and on.
During her introduction – which she interrupted by coming out of cue… and not a moment too soon!! Even as she sauntered from behind the curtain with her cane, she is sill is a tall and imposing figure. As soon as she smiled, this genuine warmth filled the pavilion. She started with a deep, soulful song… I, along with the audience strained a little to hear the words which ended with the words…”..rainbow in the clouds.”
She was happy to be there. We were happy to see her. She spoke her poems – deeply moving, sounding sorrowful at times but always, always filled with so much hope and gratitude. She told her stories, mostly to have us in laugh along with her and times, some shocking revelations that had us in tears. I couldn’t help but cry.
Sometimes, in connecting with her words and reflecting inwardly, my emotions came to the surface, I didn’t want to fight the tears that came slowly and steadily. Nothing in my life or those I know have gone through the experiences she shared with us that evening. Surival through dark times of racial and civil and personal upheaval. We lived a charmed life folks!! Be thankful, be hopeful and be generous with your love - the bottomless well of our humanity.
Rainbow in clouds… these are the people who, in times of doubt and darkness in my life, have been a light and source of comfort.
Thank you Mom, Dad and Kyle for your constant love, guidance and support.
Thank you Marc for loving me and letting me love you.
Thank you to my Chick Day girls who bring me laughter, joy and shares in my tears.
Thank you all for reading this.
*Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom. Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou's unique power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race and Angelou captivates audiences through the vigor and sheer beauty of her words and lyrics. Visit her website at: www.mayaangelou.com