Tuesday, October 03, 2006

You may shoot me with your words

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
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Very Oprah, I'll admit, but I enjoy it. Too rah! rah! for you? I like the I Will Survive vibe, myself. Shocking, huh?

On a personal note, I have a cute story. I know I'm not big on the divulging around these parts, but in my ongoing quest for authenticity (again with the nod to Oprah....sowwy), I spoke with my parents this weekend about the changes I'm aiming to make. Yes, yes, I'm a grown-ass man...a 40 y.o. man (OK, yes, 40+...bitch), but my professional life is intimately tied to family, so this will be disruptive and I felt the need to discuss it with them, if not the need for their imprimatur. Anyway, I expressed my frustration...my feelings of isolation...my mild to moderate depression.....my desire to move, to change, to start over, to be authentic. First there was silence. Then they suggested that I'd feel better in the morning. Then my Mom recommended I join a club or fraternal organization. So you think I can find a boyfriend in the local Kiwanis? And since Sunday, I haven't heard shit from either of them. They are lovely people, I swear. This is actually making it easier because it's making me realize they aren't so much interested in what might make me happiest as in what might keep the family peace. I get that. It might just make me think BIG BOY thoughts and look out for myself instead of always being the GOOD SON. Look what that's got me.


Chaucer's Bitch said...

2 thoughts.
1. the poem. love it, always have. it was printed on a giant, 2-storey banner that hung in the student union of my college.
2. I feel you pain. I was born and raised not far from where you live (Jxn, to be exact), and I know how shit southern michigan is. There is no civilization outside A2. Good on ya for wanting to get out. I did 10 years ago and I havn't looked back. I highly recommend it.

Q - 60's girl said...

Disturb the "peace" and find your peace beautiful. They will survive and you will survive even better than before. xx

Michael said...

Who woulda thought I'd get so much (welcomed) comfort from halfway and the other side of the world? It was a big step just breaking the ice. It's gonna happen.

Curtis said...

I so hear you. As a fellow 40+ (bitch), I can say that it's probably time for you to do what YOU want to do.

I'm just sayin'

The Other Andrew said...

Brava, every journey begins with a first step. They've had 40 years of you being the good son, maybe the next 40 belong to you, huh? Just a thought. All you need to do is manage their expectations as best as possible, hopefully you can meet at a happy medium.

Beau RN said...

Rock on it, Michael. I'm all about authenticity and you need to move on it. As a good-son sufferer myself, you gotta move on it. Do it for yourself and live every minute of it. Take that and roll it in your Oprah, big guy.

Charlie said...

Michael, I'll send you an Austin Chamber of Commerce Relocation Information Packet straightaway.

Ur-spo said...

i liked the poem; I thank you for it

Michael said...

You guys! This was like waking up and sliding over into the warm spot you left when you got up to shower. And then you came back. And your hair was still wet and you smelled like Aveda products.

Now come over here and gimme some sugar.

Seriously. Thanks.

freakgirl said...

Mmmmm, Aveda products. It's haircut day over here in Jersey, sweetie.

I'm so proud of you for talking to your parents. The first step is the toughest one, and you've done it. Give them time to process things, and stop worrying about them and start worrying about you. They're grown-ups; they can take care of themselves.

Jen said...


Michael said...

There's my girls. I know it seems like I wrote this just to get a big ol' cyber-hug of encouragement and support. Cuz that's what it was.

maddie said...

Yeah, what freakgirl said. They can take care of themselves.

Earl said...

Good luck with the big boy decisions.