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Maya Angelou, Knitted Staircase and Yorkshire Stone

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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