Monday, October 8, 2018

The Word from the Corner - Still I Rise

The Word from the Corner

I spent the weekend up at a church retreat for the environment in Crawford Notch NH, at the AMC Highland Center. Great location, wonderful community of the spirit, powerful topic. Rev. Jim Antal was the keynote. Amazing speaker and leader. Look up his book. 

At the retreat, gave out a booklet of my favorite nature poems. One of those was by Mary Oliver. I was going to share that poem today.

But after the week that was, I can't do that. There have been very few times in my life when I wake up at 5AM and the first thought that comes to my head, there lying in bed, is the awful thing that those in power have just done. But that is the dark cloud that I'm under, and I know many others are feeling it too. Yes, I woke up thinking about the awful Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and the final approval by the Senate. The Senate did not do their job of "advice and consent".

Because of that, this week's poem is another one that I shared at the retreat. One by Maya Angelou. Just because it's a long road, doesn't mean that you turn back, or that you stop going forward. I have a list of my personal commandments, and my first one is "Thou Shalt Not Give Up."  #9 is "Vote". May it be so. Peace.

PS I included a link to the Mary Oliver poem below because we need that too.


Still I Rise


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod 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 backyard.

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.

Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise" from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems.


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