Dr. Maya Angelou, iPad art and all text © Irene O’Garden, 2014
I just wanted to look at Dr. Maya Angelou’s face awhile, so I drew her. Those shining eyes. That impish mouth. That joy.
Glance at the breadth and depth of her creative explorations and you know she was a woman after my own heart–memoirist, actress, singer, dancer, essayist, activist, producer, professor, poet. And though she bore a lifetime of scars, she was Dignity personified–a walking reminder to continually pull yourself up by your own bare feet even if you have no bootstraps.
Some years ago, I was privileged to hear her speak. The sound of her voice was like caramel, if it, like chocolate, came in bittersweet: a rich pour that seemed to flow from a vast ancient amphora of ancestral wisdom, prompting love, tolerance, forgiveness.
And I acutely appreciate her reflections on aging. I’ll direct you to the first twenty seconds of the Master Class she did for Oprah, though of course, the entire event is well worth watching.
It’s hard to believe this mighty presence no longer dwells among us. But her spirit will continue to do so. It was uncaged decades ago.
A bit of news: I have mentioned here how pleased I am to have a poem in A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley. I was just notified that the book has now received five prizes–get a first edition while you can!
1st Prize: 2014 USA Book Awards for Anthology
The 2014 da Vinci Eye Award for book cover artwork: part of the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. (Amy Cheng is our cover artist.)
Finalist in the 2014 Beverly Hills International Book Awards for Anthology
Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the category: Women’s Issues
Finalist in the 2014 International Book Awards sponsored by The American Book Fest in the category: Chick Lit/Women’s Literature