My Tribute

My Tribute


“When you learn, teach. When you get, give”
~Maya Angelou

I couldn’t let the day pass without paying homage to the Mother Earth, Goddess, poet, teacher, Maya Angelou.

They are paying tribute, as well they should, on all the media outlets today.
In the car on NPR this morning, I heard a hysterical story, told in her own deep, melodic voice, about waiting in an airport bar for her mother to arrive, and it made me tear up.
You could hear in her voice that the story tickled her.
Ah……that voice. Unmistakable. A real gift to her poetry, and the world.

I remember reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings when I was about fifteen or sixteen. It resonated not because I was a young black girl growing up in the Deep South, because that could not have been further from the truth, but because it spoke of freedom and self expression, two things I was desperately seeking in those days.

I just went to look at my dog eared, water stained copy and alas, I must have leant it to a friend.
Damn me and my book lending!

I collect quotes, as demonstrated by the Quotes page on this
Every wise thing ever said, I tend to attribute to Maya Angelou.

I had a friend (who has since passed) who knew the source of
pretty much every quote. She would joke that if she did get stumped, she’d attribute them to either Mark Twain or Maya Angelou and people wouldn’t blink.

The quote at the top about teaching, is one that comes to mind often, and it gave me permission to start the women’s group. When you learn, teach.
Thank you Maya Angelou.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
This one gave me permission to write this blog, so you have Maya Angelou to thank….or blame.

“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.”
One of my spiritual teachers would remind me, that when we die, we watch a movie style life review. There is no sound, just feeling. We have to re-live how we made others feel in every interaction of our life.
That’s some sobering shit, huh?

“You are enough.
This one’s like a haiku. Enough said.

“When someone tells you or shows you who they are; believe them the first time.”
OMG. This was my mantra in the dating world. I should have had that tattooed to my forehead. (Thank God I re-thought that.)
I was a serial benifitofthedoubt giver. But I eventually learned. When a cute guy, at a party, drink in hand, would ask me out and then quip “I’m not really the monogamous type, or I’m a bad boy, or you’re really not my type”, I learned, from this quote, to run for the hills.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
This quote is why I’m married. At forty two, love was so freakin tired from the decathlon that my hope was putting it through, it walked through a wall, and delivered to me….my husband. Whew!

Here are some of my other favorite pearls of wisdom from that greatest of life’s teachers, Maya Angelou:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

”I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

I’ll end with this one. So wise, so profound and so true.

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

God’s speed Maya (may I call you Maya?)



  • wishing4peace says:

    An inspiration and an icon. May you rest in peace, Maya Angelou, but may your words resonate through hearts and souls for eternity. Thank you.

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