Maya Angelou, Knitted Staircase and Yorkshire Stone

28 May

1    Maya Angelou died today. As a spokesperson for her family said, “She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.”
She was a wonderful woman and a role model for us all. I loved her writings and especially her poem ‘Still I Rise’ which you will find at the end of today’s post. I loved her philosophy and these words that she left us – “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

2    I have joined just five of our knitted pieces together and they fill our staircase! I have eight more here and there are at least five more almost completed by friends. I’ll need the garden to lay them all out!  Imagine SEVEN MILES of peaceful protest knitting  stretched between Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield, Berkshire, where nuclear weapons are made.

Some of our knitting for Wool Against Weapons

Some of our knitting for Wool Against Weapons

3   Another job I have enjoyed doing today is the annual power washing of the Yorkshire stones of the patio. It always delights me afresh to see how pretty the stones are and to re-discover the fern patterns in them.

Feathery markings

Feathery markings


Still I Rise          Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


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11 responses to “Maya Angelou, Knitted Staircase and Yorkshire Stone

  1. utesmile

    May 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    She was an a azing woman and I know many quotes of her. Sad she passed away!

    • mybeautfulthings

      June 5, 2014 at 5:46 am

      But she has left us an amazing heritage in her wonderful poetry and other writings. 🙂

  2. flowerpot

    May 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Wonderful poem Sally -w as listening to a discussion on her on R4 last night. What an amazing woman.

  3. Hudson Howl

    May 29, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I did not know Maya Angelou died till just now upon reading it here. I can not say am sadden, no, I won’t say I’m sadden. No. Am happy she lived. Am happy she broke down barriers. Am happy she expressed herself not with meanness but with thoughtfulness. I happy to have read her, happy that she was read by millions who need to hear her -she was their living spirit, nudging to look and think.

    Great stones you have there young lady.

    I did not know nuclear weapons were made in the UK. Canada does not ‘instant sunshine’ but we could which is just as disturbing at least to me.

    A great post filled great causes -your a humanist, no question about it.

    • mybeautfulthings

      June 5, 2014 at 5:42 am

      I agree with all your comments about Maya Angelou. We should indeed celebrate her life and what she gave to us all.We were privileged to be able to read her words and they, of course, will live on for many generations to learn from. 🙂

  4. mybeautfulthings

    May 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    From Peter Martin:
    Hopefully, this will not be installed, permanently, in any building to which the public has right of access as it, clearly, breeches both Building Regulations ADM2012 Part M and DDA BS8500. Both of which require the edge of any step to contrast with the material installed on both the tread and the riser. The contrast shall be a minimum of 30 points in terms of LRV.
    The contrasting edge shall also extend from stringer to stringer.

    But it seems to be in a private house, so this is total bollocks; so well done Sally and your ‘knitwits’.

  5. jotsfromasmallapt

    May 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Living words she spoke.
    A sad celebration of a life well lived.
    A joyful noise to be made in remembrance.

    • mybeautfulthings

      June 5, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Yes, it was certainly a life well lived. We should celebrate that.

  6. Don

    May 28, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    The passing of a great spirit.


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