My mother and I had the great good fortune to attend a speech by Dr. Maya Angelou last Thursday night in Charlottesville, VA. I’m not going to do a biography of her here, as there are thousands of them available, all with more information than I posess. But what I will say is this:
Maya Angelou is full of wisdom and wit, and the (occasionally hilarious, sometimes tragic, often poignant) stories of an amazing life well lived. Mom and I both left the event pondering our own lives, our own histories, our own relationship with the world. Inspirational.
Ms. Angelou also very much reminded me of my grandmother, who died last year. Feisty and committed, and sure of herself, with a quick humor. Like Maya, my grandmother had ups and downs, some hilarity, some tragedy, and much poignancy. It made me miss her very much to hear Dr. Angelou say to the air, “Someone come and move this silly thing [the podium] out of my way!” Then remonstrate the laughing audience, “If you don’t ask, you don’t receive.” Of course, a young man came and moved the podium post haste. That moment had my grandmother’s spirit in it.
And it was a lovely time with my mother, which I don’t get much anymore. Reminded me to keep my priorities in order.
If you get the chance to hear this wonderful lady speak, take it!