“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” -Maya Angelou
This week we sadly saw the passing of author, poet, activist, dancer, actress, director and singer, Maya Angelou. Whilst I admittedly have not read any of her work in full, I have heard of her and know the inspirational person she was. When I read the sad news of her passing I began to gain a glimpse of the life Maya lived. Like the lives of many others, it was full of ups and downs but the most inspiring thing about the life Maya lived, I believe, was her ability to reinvent herself, with a life full of new beginnings.
According to Wikipedia (not always 100% reliable, but in this case I believe its information will suffice) Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4th, 1928. Her childhood was not an easy one by any means, her parents had a tumultuous relationship and Maya and her older brother would live with their grandmother more than once throughout their childhood. Maya Angelou was an amazingly strong woman and despite the difficulties she faced in her life, Maya has been awarded over 50 honorary degrees and is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist and also, she was a mother. In fact Maya had her first child shortly after graduating high school and despite being a single mother in difficult time, she went from strength to strength to become an inspiration to people all over the world.
In light of my new-found appreciation of the person that was the inspirational Maya Angelou, I have been thinking about new beginnings. The times in our lives when we pick ourselves up and start again. It may be a time when our world has come crashing down or a time when we realise that things need to change, this is when we experience these new beginnings. Sometimes we begin this journey by making a conscious decision to start over or change direction, other times our path is altered subconsciously or by external forces. When thinking about the life of Maya Angelou and the new beginnings she experienced throughout her life, I began reflecting not only on my own journey and each new beginning I have experienced, but also the journeys and new beginnings of my characters, particularly in my (not so) short story, The Start of a New Beginning. After delving deeper into the journey of my characters and the changes in their lives, I have decided that the title for this WIP doesn’t adequately describe the journey of my characters and the many times when their lives have come crashing down and again, they start over. So in keeping with this sentiment, I am now referring to this WIP as New Beginnings.
If you would like to know more about the person who was Maya Angelou, both Wikipedia and Maya’s official website are great sources
“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.”
― Maya Angelou
Live your life with feeling, embrace it and see where the journey takes you,
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