I first came to hear about this poet and memoirist in the Life’s Work column of the Harvard Business Review. I even cite it often, especially if it is about someone from the domain of art. For example the interview with Zandra Rhodes – https://rajshankar.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/vedantic-wednesday-your-work-is-what-youre-there-for/
One of the many I have enjoyed reading under the “Life’s Work” column of HBR is that of Maya Angelou (http://hbr.org/2013/05/maya-angelou/ar/1). She has written numerous poems and memoirs that have fascinated and inspired millions. What inspired me most was the commitment to her writing. During the interview she speaks a lot about the importance of discipline and keeping to a ritual, a routine, so that we can beat our own laziness. What she actually meant was beating our mind which wrecks havoc and dissuades us from working towards a goal, in a repeated and disciplined manner. The way she does it works for her – the actual path is not important, that a path is needed is the real message.
The other thing I really liked from her interview and my limited knowledge of her works is that she was a keen and astute observer. How else can you actually be a memoirist? While it is easy to write one book based on interesting things that happened in life, it takes a lot more acuteness in observation and awareness to pen down volumes on life and living.
Today as we hear about her demise, let us draw inspiration from one more artist who lived her life for her work. Though her family will miss her it is comforting to hear that she had a peaceful death, something that every human being seeks but rarely receives, since it is blessing of divinity. May the divine give the family the courage and blessings to bear the loss.
The more I read about people who lived their lives fully, it inspires me to learn from it and share it. I do this routinely because the people I meet are entrepreneurs / entrepreneurial and they need to routinely spruce up their confidence and belief in themselves and their work.
Though I read poetry very little and very slowly, I hope to read more of Maya’s work, especially her memoirs! For all those who wish to know more about her work, you may look up here: http://mayaangelou.com