Thursday, May 29, 2014

phenomenal woman.

i don't know how it is that we can mourn someone we don't know personally, and have never met, but my heart is broken and i have cried for the loss of Dr. Maya Angelou.  as a writer, i mourn her because the literary world has lost an amazing female poet.  as a woman, i mourn her because women have lost a champion, a woman who believed in women, loved women, encouraged us to love ourselves and each other.  as a human, i mourn her because of her faith in people, in kindness, in making the world a better place because it was the right thing to do.

i remember the first time i heard "phenomenal woman".  i was way too young to be watching 'poetic justice', but watch it i did, and i got nothing else from the movie but janet jackson reading maya angelou's words.  it was the first time i had ever heard that poem, and i had just started writing my own poetry not long before that.  i was a preteen, and right at the cusp of that awkward phase where some days we hate everything about ourselves when we look in the mirror.  i remember thinking, "i want to be a phenomenal woman one day."  i wasn't sure i ever would feel that way.

it took me 15 long years to get to the point in my life where i feel like a 'phenomenal woman'.  it's because of women who came before me, like Dr. Angelou.  women who encourage us to love ourselves, the things that are different about us, our quirks, things we could be insecure about, but really love, deep down inside.  women who inspire us to love others, to have faith in others, to believe in humanity and to do our part to make the world a kinder, more beautiful place.  relating to women like that helped me get out of a dark place after my separation and subsequent divorce.  they encouraged me to appreciate myself.

thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou, for having faith in us, and leaving us the legacy you have.  we are eternally grateful to you for your beautiful spirit, and ability to love us all.

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