Last week, I was saddened to hear of the death of Maya Angelou. She was an amazing person who seemed to have such an authentic presence that was undeniably attractive. When she spoke you could not help but stop and listen. Her words, thoughts, and ideas carried so much weight. She was a living example of one who had lost her voice but found it again and sought to never lose it again. Her life is such a message of hope that all is not lost.
Her first autobiography is titled, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". This title comes from a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The last stanza of the poem reads as follows,
"I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, --
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings--
I know why the caged bird sings!"
This poem strikes me with the sense of community. We know another person's pain only by having our own. Pain is the great medium to connecting.