Maya Angelou

I didn’t mind reading as a kid and I have never lost the love I have for the written word. Despite that, there were a lot of non-captivating books on the required reading list when I was in school. ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings‘ was not one of them and I have devoured all of Dr. Maya Angelou’s books and writings since. The woman was a warrior bard her entire life, an inspiration who crossed all barriers of race, gender and spirit, and while she deserves a bit of rest, I am sad to see her go.

I have tried to live my life with as much empathy, fearlessness and ferocity as she did. I should be so lucky to write anything that touches someone like Still I Rise touched me. Today, still she does rise, remaining a bright and shining beacon of all that is worth writing down.

Maya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

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?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

 

 

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Summertime…not so easy

 

I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Waltz Goes On…

Sir Anthony Hopkins is perhaps best known for his psychopathic character of Hannibal Lector, but his favorite role of mine was that of Burt Munro in the World’s Fastest Indian. At least it was, until he took on the real role of composer. He composed a waltz nearly fifty years ago and then went on to act in amazing films and to do other little things such as GETTING KNIGHTED. Like you do.

His waltz was unearthed by Andre Rieu and performed for Sir Anthony Hopkins a few years ago. I’m late to the video but it is amazing and just another example of the fact that no one is merely a one trick pony – no matter how good they are at that one thing.

Enjoy

Today is the final day that anyone can watch this amazing video. It is breathtaking to see and unfortunately, the permissions run out today for the video, so if it were to stay up officially, Commander Chris Hadfield would be sued. It’s an unfortunate world that we live in where something this gorgeous could lead to a court case. Do yourself and everyone you know a favor and watch this before it’s gone.

Ground Control to Major Tom

H.R.Giger

My misspent youth would have never been the same without this man’s art and influence. I have so many great stories involving his work and various stages of my life. I never met him, but I still feel his loss and am sad that he will not be putting anything into the world anymore. He terrified everyone on the Alien set who thought his work was “sick” except for Ridley Scott, who knew without a doubt that he was the man to create Alien. Godspeed, Mr. Giger. Thanks for the memories.

Image

New York

Next week I am returning to the big apple for a very brief visit. I will be fortunate enough to see Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (CAN’T WAIT!)  and another production that has left many friends speechless called Sleep No More. However, I have very little practical experience in the Big Apple, having been there only once. I am looking forward to checking out the Poetry House and stopping into the White Horse for a pint or 2 to round out a literary day – but am looking for other things that I simply HAVE to do.

5 years ago I trekked through Prospect and Central Park, hit Ellis Island for a little history lesson and left a flower at the WTC for a lost friend. Is there anything else anyone thinks of as the one thing you simply have to do while you’re in New York?

My Irish Heart

I realize that I rant on about Ireland a bit – and that most people who read this blog, don’t know or don’t care about those issues like I do. Since this one was originally going to  focus just on writing and not necessarily the politics of a far away country, I have decided to make another.

If you are interested in my writing about Ireland, Irish history, politics, etc. you can find those posts here.

http://lightandthunder.wordpress.com/

This blog will return to its regularly scheduled programming and its focus on writing in general – for friends, fun, profit and experience.

As you were….