For Maya

Maya Angelou died today. My immediate reaction was true to my culturally inbred millennial instincts. In a sweaty post-run perusal of social media (of course showering isn’t exempt from procrastination), I was informed by a sorority sister, who was then corroborated by Zac Posen, that Maya Angelou was no more. In rapid pursuit of my own perfect Instagram tribute to this literary giant, I did some quick mobile googling, popped open USA Today’s compilation of Maya’s top 13 quotes (sorry Huff post), scrolled ’til I found the one that best represented my lifestyle, captioned a vintage picture of the great of the great authoress, posted it, and got into the shower.

In the steam of this sacred place of meditation, I ruminated on recent events… shuddering while watching Girls, discovering how little I understand my face while painting a pseudo-self portrait, purchasing War and Peace, scribbling random inspiration on to scraps of paper for fear I would lose them like I did that perfect novel title last week, and realizing how little of Maya Angelou’s work I have exposed myself to in my pursuit of Faulkner and Tolstoy…

I have a sometimes earth-shattering theory that the universe (/economy/human race) is full of cracks, veins if you will, waiting to be discovered by some ambitious individual and exploited like an enormous and eternal gold mine that feeds the beautiful beating heart that is the earth. So when giants like Ms. Angelou move on to their next heart, an enormous shift occurs that leaves little people like myself broiling to fill their voids. Don’t say it. I know it’s completely plausible. 

It got me thinking: how am I filling that void? Sure, I was helping her trend, a noble achievement to be sure–@BarackObama himself offered the same support, but in order to truly pay tribute to Maya Angelou and keep the pulse of Mother Earth beating strongly, I better start actually exercising that passion, compassion, humor, and style that I identified as Maya Angelou’s closest characterization of what it means to be me. Ergo, this post. 

Here I am writing for you, Maya. You’ve woken me up after a long-semester induced hiatus. It’s been fun sewing and painting and cooking and dreaming myself out of freshman year oblivion these past few weeks, but that was just preamble for this summer. This post? This is where I admit to myself, to some audience perhaps, that I think I’m meant to write. I think that’s what I’d really like to do for the next conceivable eternity. I think that’s my best shot. My milk ticket. If it was good enough for Maya, then it’s good enough for me. Dear contemporaries, this vein is mine. Off to the pages…


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