Today is week 50 of #TWmemorymondays // #tiffanywongartmas edition!
In April, I listened to Oprah's interview with Dr. Maya Angelou, and I was OBSESSED with two things from that conversation. If you want to listen to it, look up Supersoul conversations podcast featuring Maya Angelou - it's in two parts. So I've read her work before and really love her poetry, but hearing her voice did something to me.
The first moment was listening to Oprah and Maya Angelou talking about courage. They were recalling this incident: Maya Angelou was hosting a party that Oprah was a guest at. From across the room, Maya Angelou heard a homophobic/racist comment from one of her guests. She stops the party, and asks the person to leave with their guest. Then, addresses the rest of the guests and said, "I will not allow it in my house." Maya continues talking about how powerful words are - it can be poison to demean a person to be less than human.
Oprah asks Maya, how do we stop those hateful comments? How does she get the courage? Maya explains that it doesn't just happen all of a sudden...you have to develop courage. She says that COURAGE is the most important virtue, because you can't practice any other virtue consistently without courage. So you practice courage in small ways, and you realize that you like yourself after it...so you do another small act of courage. Then over time you develop the kind of courage where you can stop a party and escort a person to leave your house.
OMG I probably repeated this story to myself a million times and then a million times to my friends. It gave me so much encouragement on having patience on practicing courage. Courage to speak up, because I believe in deep/true peace and not a shallow/superficial "peace." It makes me feel emotional even thinking about hope of becoming someone who practices my values as much as I intellectually am convinced of it.
The second moment is when Maya Angelou talks about how God LOVES her. Watch my instastories to hear that part of the podcast. In her old age, I could hear the softness of her heart, and it made me cry as I was walking home from the bus. My heart was bursting hearing her talk about God and God's expansive love that is big enough for all. I love the way she embodies courage, love, deep confidence, creativity, and zest for life. I will forever remember my experience of discovering my responsibility as a human through her voice. Lastly, here is a quote from her that I love dearly:
"My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are. To astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart."
Thirty one days of December. Thirty one days of #tiffanywongartmas. // 2018 edition. 10. // 'Dr. Maya Angelou' . Mixed media //
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 50/53. 'Dr. Maya Angelou' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper