“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

~ Maya Angelou     April 4th, 1928 – May 28th, 2014



A profound influence on me, and the world, Maya Angelou has given me the courage to sing my song and share it. She was right there in the beginning, when I first began For the Archives in 2010. Ever-grateful for her contributions to us all. Mahalo nui loa, Maya Angelou!


October 8, 2010

I go to the Princeville library on a mission but they don’t have a single title by Robinson Jeffers.  I get a book of poems by Maya Angelou instead; “And Still I Rise.”  By donation only, I get a facial at the Rainbow Ministry and am told what I offer is too much.  Afterward, with a fresh face I buy a single strand of jade beads.  On my way home my surfboard almost flies off my car crossing Kalihiwai bridge when the bungee pops off while driving.


book cover design Janet Halverson, Random House 1978


After school my son loses his tooth when the tether ball hits him in the face.  I am in the fundraising meeting planning salsa dancing when he comes to me with blood smeared on his lips:  “Mom, don’t tell anyone…I lost my tooth.”

It’s Friday night and we get take out, play with beads and watch a movie.  It’s a film made by Christians but if I ignore some of the church talk I still get teary in the scenes about having faith.

2 thoughts on “Rising

  1. Those words touch me and many others so deeply. I had a tough week and felt very sorry for myself for a couple of days and then saw the news footage of Maya reading her poem and tears fell down my face. What a way to remind us to just battle on. Today has been a great one for me and I am back on track…..just as Maya reminded me I would be..thank you for your tribute to this wonderful woman!


    1. Thank you! Maya Angelou’s courage to express herself helped so many to do the same. And your experience in hearing her poetry shows the power of creative expression. It’s such a gift to others when we share our art, especially the work that is really heartfelt and true.


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