From her interview with the Academy of Achievement (1990)
Maya Angelou once said: "Some critics will write 'Maya Angelou is a natural writer' - which is right after being a natural heart surgeon."
She was a wordsmith. And while I'm sure it was a God-given gift, she chose her words as carefully as an architect figures out where to place the support beams in a house. It gives me hope that she likely crossed out words with a pen or held down the backspace button on her computer in her effort to pick words, at times, as elusive as a four-leaf clover or a rainbow after a rain.
From Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)
At 86, she was still writing. And even though she was a critically-acclaimed writer and poet, she never claimed it was easy:
"Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it's right, it's easy. It's the other way round, too. If it's slovenly written, then it's hard to read. It doesn't give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader."
The octogenarian adapted with the times to share her words with the world. Her last Twitter post was on May 23, just a few days before her May 28 death:
Listen to yourself
and in that quietude
you might hear the voice of God.
Maya Angelou, Last Tweet, May 23, 1:43 PM
I guess she did hear the voice of God as he called her Home.
"I don't know how much longer I'll be around. I'll probably be writing when the Lord says, 'Maya, Maya Angelou, it's time.' "
Facebook has been full of Maya Angelou's quotes since her death last week. USA Today collected 13 of their favorite quotes. There are seven pages of her quotes on BrainyQuote. I spent some time searching for some of my photographs to go with her words.
When I grow up, I'd love to have even a smidgen of her talent.
"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."
YES ... Just what Maya said.
Date of quote unknown
Music was my refuge.
I could crawl into the space between the notes
and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou, undated
From Maya Angelou's Facebook page, January 11, 2013
All great achievements require time.
Maya Angelou, undated
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.
Beautifully Said Magazine (2012)
Rest in peace, Dr. Angelou!