Maya Angelou's Death

"The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing"

I found out about her death late at night on the day she died. Perhaps it would have hit less harder had it been day, but it was night, and we feel most during the night. Now I reflect on the life she lived, the message she delivered, and the words she spoke. And in all, I find a beautiful being, and a wondrous heart. She was a simple woman, yet she was bold and fierce in speaking her mind. And her writing was understood, perhaps differently, but still understood by all. She wrote, not to complicate, but to explain. 

I was introduced to Maya's writing in middle school. I remember being captivated by her poem, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", I was overcome by how this one poem held so many meanings by definition. She had that talent. One line of her writing would scream a thousand words of wisdom and experience. She was one of the reasons I chose to give an interest in writing. 

If anything, the greatest lesson she has taught, and lived, is to be good and to do good. She taught us that forgiveness and love liberates the self. And she was a living example of that. When I look at her image now, I see the traces of life and hope on her face. She has passed, but her spirit and voice live on in her writing.  


Confusion and the Search for Clarity

I am now in the process of moving, not from house to house, or even from state to state, but from continent to continent. I cannot describe the many emotions that course their way through me as I ponder and reflect upon this great change, this scary journey I embark on. I am still not certain where home is; here in the States, where I've been practically born and bred, or Somalia - the place my parents and ancestors claim their roots. It cannot be stressed enough the dilemma we, the offspring of immigrants, face. To make matters worse, both places do not claim me. I remember whispering to myself: It is not the people, but the land you claim. But it cannot be denied that the people and the places blend to form one state, neither can exist without the other. I find that you cannot embrace one and reject the other, for that is a half truth. That is an incomplete story, an end to a middle. Not surprisingly, my life can be defined as just that.

I do not know if there are answers to my questions, and I grow more and more confused by the day. Who am I truly? And will I ever belong?

I know now that I was born both a stranger and a seeker. Still, even knowing this, it is hard to accept the possibility that I may well be like the tree without roots, easily moved by the lightest of breezes. I remain forever seeking.

And I must learn to accept that. I must.