Ah, Maya, I never knew you. But you knew me. You spoke to me and valued me. You valued us all, enough to invoke us to tell our stories. You held yourself so regally. You made it okay to be a performer, an artist, a writer, a teacher, a mother, a friend. To be creative and public in so many outlets.
At times, I have felt, I am too many things. I should be only one. But you showed me that we contain multitudes. Besides that, we shared the same birthday – April 4.
I felt in you, a kinship. Your words inspired me. Your poetry, essays and advice.
“I don’t think there’s such a thing as autobiographical fiction. If I say it happened, it happened, even if only in my mind. I promised myself that I would write as well as I can, tell the truth, not to tell everything I know, but to make sure that everything I tell is true, as I understand it.”
“The best candy shop a child can be left alone in is the library.”
“We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans — because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings.”
It is in this candy shop, in this exploration, that I have ventured forth, offering my writing, encouraging others to write. I only want to hear stories. And to tell stories. And to get at some truth.
I believe stories live on. That the story teller disappears but that the truths remain.
And when you die, somehow you are home. “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” (This was one of Angelou’s tweets — so awesome that she embraced twitter – a forum for poets or pundits, snarky or sincere.)