“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
It was probably 2014, around this time (May 28), when Maya Angelou passed that everyone was talking about the famous poet. I had just begun working on my startup dedicated to violence against women after my long career in technology. At that time, my oldest daughter was working with me. I asked her, “Who is Maya Angelou?”
She was shocked and somewhat appalled that I could ask such an ignorant literary question.
She told me she was one of the most famous contemporary poets and civil rights activists of our time. I shrugged, and went on with what I was doing.
It took me a few years to finally dig into Angelou’s brilliance. When I found the poem, Still I Rise, I recognized myself in it. It reminded me of what one of my male tech partners once said about me that I didn’t understand, so I had to look it up. He told me he admired how I would, “Rise like a Phoenix, over and over again.”
Such a universal truth for women emboldened with the will to survive, to overcome.
And therein lies some of the mystery as to why I’m uninformed as to the great feminist writers. I spent a lifetime competing in a man’s world, surrounded by men, reading men’s words predominantly. I did not have the privilege, nor the luxury, to invest in learning about the oppression and discrimination that dogged me throughout my professional career.
I’ve joined a local artist’s group on Zoom to pass the pandemic confinement. I enjoy sharing my amateur photography and learning about the artist scene here in Northeast SD. I’ve been writing a lot more too, getting closer to signing up for a writing course to learn how to write officially. After all these years. Might take a photography course too.
Best of all, I’ve begun weekly sessions with a therapist. So helpful.
I’m holed up in my apartment with the trusty cat. I made a decision not to see anyone because of the pandemic that has been raging here in South Dakota. We’re so close. The vaccination has already made its way to frontline medical staff, and soon enough, maybe the spring/summer, we should all be vaccinated.
I figured I could just pretend this Christmas was not happening. Kind of delete it from my calendar.
I didn’t buy a tree.
I didn’t make cookies, or put up lights, or any kind of decorations.
I’m not even listening to Christmas music.
I’m just in denial about the holiday.
This morning, when I walked out from the bedroom, I noticed nature had decorated for me. There is a beautiful pine tree outside my window in my living room. The artful way the frost framed the window with the sun shining through the branches just made me smile.
I tried to photograph it. It looks better in person. Wish you were here to enjoy it with me.