Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise. ~Maya Angelou
Even a simple letter demands that we put all power into it that we have, as if we were to carve its meaning in hard stone. It’s the moment, when, in silence, we are able to to connect to our soul. But we also can apply that to any act performed with commitment, humility and love. ~Paulo Coelho
Later today, my husband, J., and I are going to see a movie. Yesterday, he asked me if I wanted to go and I said, “Yes,” because he asked and I wanted to please him. Nevertheless, at the time, I thought, “Oh, oh, what ever have I agreed to?” You see, if I’d chosen the movie, there is a 98% chance that J. would have hated the movie, and vice versa.
J. and I have vastly different ideas of a good movie for venturing out, paying an exorbitant amount of money and sitting there for two hours to watch or sometimes, endure. We have cable television and with it, a DVR player. If there is a word that is defined as less than rarely, that is how often I either watch television or record a show on the DVR. In our home, the living room is located in a very central location, and usually, I stroll through it on my way to my destination.
When J. watches television, it is either sports, of a historical nature, or autobiographical. Granted, there is the occasional entertaining or funny movie. Nevertheless, in most cases, it would be torture for me to sit through these shows with J. In many cases, I’d rather have a root canal, which if you know how much I hate dentists, you might understand how much I don’t want to watch most of these shows. So I race walk through the room with a smile on my face and a slight “hello” wave all the while appreciating that my husband is a man who does not need me to sit beside him holding his hands while he enjoys his shows or even share the same interests.
Today is different. I’ve willingly chosen to attend a movie that I may not enjoy. Apparently, we are going to see a Tom Hanks movie about a vessel that is hijacked by Somali pirates. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Tom Hanks and I have no quarrel with Somalia. I also fully realize that the Somali piracy problem is a huge one for the government of Somalia, and even impacts citizens of other countries, including this one. I am not insensitive to this problem.
My problem lies in that the movie depicts the truth of the matter. It intends to depict reality. Years ago, I stopped watching television when I noticed that I was having nightmares loosely based on news stories and television shows that I’d seen. I realized that my body was sending me a message that these shows and news stories had a detrimental affect on my mind and body. In order to test the theory, I decided to stop watching television for a month. Almost immediately, the nightmares ceased — totally. It was then that I realized that the issue arose from my body being bombarded with too much reality. I am not talking about “reality” television. No, I am speaking of those shows and stories that depict or report things that happen in real life — the senseless murders and robberies, the abducted or abused child, the lying and cheating politicians and so much more. On a personal level, I could not handle these real life stories and the fact that they exist in the same world that I inhabit. When I watch a movie, I like to be entertained, not reminded of life’s horrors. I do not watch television, with the exception of some carefully chosen shows.
Admittedly, the movies and shows that I enjoy are not for everyone. Currently, my favorite television shows are “Supernatural,” “The Vampire Dairies,” “Walking Dead,” and “The Originals.” Each of these shows deal with either vampires or the supernatural in some form or fashion. (Perhaps, it is my New Orleans upbringing.) My choice of movies tends towards action movies like “Thor,” “Die Hard,” and “Pulp Fiction,” feel-good movies like “What Dreams May Come,” and “Dr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” comedies like “My Cousin Vinnie,” and “Home for the Holidays,” anime movies like “Spirited Away,” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” and very old-time favorites like “Imitation of Life,” and “The Bad Seed.” Finally, I cannot lie, but I anxiously awaited every release of the “Harry Potter” movies, as well as “The Twilight Saga.” All of this is not to say that I don’t occasionally watch other movies, but typically, they don’t involve serial murders, rapes, and other such things. Most of the movies that I prefer, deal with total fiction and are devoid of the real life horrors of the day. I like that!
In spite of this, I will most definitely be sitting beside my husband because he wants to see the Tom Hank‘s new movie “Captain Phillips.” Why? It is simple, love and relationships are about compromise and to put it bluntly, it’s what you do for the ones you love.
P.S. J. is not feeling particularly chipper today and asked to postpone the movie until tomorrow. I said, “Fine by me.”