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And for once I was SuperMom

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dearly Departed

Maya Angelou left us today.  She was 86, a life certainly well lived.
She has always been on my list of people that I wanted to have dinner with, I could see her smooth voice patting me on the head, telling me that if I just press on my art will be seen, my writing will be read.

She was one of the first that I read, in that high school and middle school abyss when all you have is time and a library card.  I loved her voice.  I remember the anecdote from 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,' where several of the girls from Porgy and Bess where straightening their hair with a new treatment.  The treatment made their hair fall out.  Maya's family wrote her and asked if she was one of the girl's who had lost it to vanity.  Her answer was to send them a picture of herself, big smile, both handsburied in tugging on curly hair that was firmly attached to her head.
I loved that.
Race and land mine hair discussions aside, I always grieve a bit inside when I hear that someone is trying hard to change the things about themselves that they can't.  Hair texture, hours spent in bathroom curling or straightening in the other direction.  Height, bunions and stinging arches from wearing high heels or hunched shoulders from an attempt to shrink.
Thank you Maya for loving yourself enough to not straighten your hair.

Honestly I think that her passing just raises my chances of meeting her, at the rate I am going with writing the next great American novel I wouldn't have found myself sitting next to her at some writer's luncheon.  Maybe on the other side she can put her hand on mine and give me the approval that we all want from great people.  Those people we wish we could be friends with, if only we were greater or our circle of influence wider.  People you hope would like you too.  A kindred spirit, just a few hundred miles away.

She didn't start her memoir 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' until she was 42.  This fact gives me hope.  Reminding me that I am still in the beginning of my life, that I still have some time.

I don't straighten my hair either.

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