In meditation this morning I ask if it is possible to interview Maya Angelou. As soon as I ask she appears seated across from me. She looks just like she did when she was older, except now her gorgeous spirit lights up her eyes. She reaches across and places her hand on my forearm and I feel incredibly loved in this moment.
“The Earth will miss you,” I say to her and she replies, “But I will be back because that is what we do…rotate life after life after life. It is a never-ending score of lives.”
A look of seriousness crosses her face as she says, “My life as Maya was a tough, tough struggle. Even when it appeared that I had so much, it was still a great struggle because my struggles had become part of me and could not just be shrugged off. People think once they have fame and money, that all problems are solved, but sometimes our problems become heavier with fame because we carry the guilt for remaining as we have known our self to be rather that a richer, happier version.
“What weight would my words have carried if I hadn’t struggled? Where would my cry have come from, if not my struggles, and it was my cry that people responded to. It was my struggle to break free that spoke to others. No matter our face, our color, our creed, we all share the same human struggle, and all struggles stem from the main root struggle, which is to be free…free of slavery in any form, which includes that of self, of desire, of authority, any kind of slavery you can name. The spirit knows the human body as bondage because it is tied to it for a specified period of time and inherently knows there is no escaping that fact, but does the spirit struggle with this so called bondage? No, for it loves life.
“Of what was my cry born? My cry was born from the childhood dirt that buried my words and songs, choking my breath in the process. No matter how much dirt was shoveled in, I still lived and somehow I learned to thrive. As the years piled on, enough of the dirt and dust wore off, allowing me access to some of my words and songs, allowing them to rise within so that I could further dust them off with my own strength. It was then that I found my treasure that I had carried to Earth. Too long my treasure had been buried within with no apparent access. Too long that treasure was a weight that I dragged around because I had no understanding. But when that treasure appeared in the pile of dirt and dust, I took advantage and believed because there was no longer any walk in me in which I could not believe. I had reached the end.
“Too often it is when we reach the end that we are willing to look inside because all our energies for the outside have been spent and there is no choice. I was worn out I tell you. But God’s voice was a faint noise inside my head that never quit. I gave up on it for many years because how could God’s voice condone my childhood? How could God’s voice reach through the dirt? I had shut it off in an effort to survive. It is when we finally give up however, when we finally reach the end of our walk that spirit takes over. How many miles throughout the years had I walked in my own willful manner?
But now God was here and could take over in presenting my treasure within, and present it in a neutral, delicate manner because of my human frailties and old worn old willfulness.
“In a blind manner I attempted to make whatever I could from this newly discovered treasure. The child’s voice that I also found within? I was immediately captured by it, for it was as sweet as the day it was buried and when that voice rose in me I fell as the human I had been and I, yes I, was revealed in that fall. Nothing I had done so far mattered. That voice, delicate as a butterfly’s wings, was alive and it would sing again, only this time with the bass of time, with the resonance of age to support it. No longer would the innocence of childhood assert itself. No, that had been well buried long, long ago and now I had the eyes of an elder who could see past the glitter and glitz to what was important.
“I polished the voice with heart. I polished the voice with God’s loving hands and in speaking to God promised the flow would never be interrupted again, and that became the deal forged then and there. I knew my God and felt my God’s energies flowing through every fiber of my being. I sang for God because I didn’t know how not to. It had always been my God who walked each step with me, through the sunshine, through the dirt, and through my resurrection. It was not mine to complain of the dirt. It was enough that God had asked me to walk those many miles.
“And I spoke to people of my walk through the dirt and my emergence into the freedom, the freedom of voice, of speech and of touch, all the freedoms offered in my treasure. I learned to trust once again, most importantly trusting myself. What God raises, God can bury, and I am not talking about death. God’s plans are as individual as each individual that breathes. Every mile of every walk is accompanied and driven by God. But I knew too well the difficulties in believing that. I struggled mightily for too many years, but the experiences my struggles brought to me became the richest parts of my voice, for I knew whereof I spoke and because of this my voice rang out with truth and the possibility of freedom, offering hope to those who were running low and scared. My voice had regressed, back into its natural self. And I could breathe again as one who had reached the shore safely.”
“It is all God. It is God that waits everywhere. It is God that surrounds. But it is also God that grants our struggles, allowing us to grow old in the process. I found contentment in a world that makes no sense because God became my confidant. I found peace because my treasure had been unlocked and I knew enough to value it. What a sad, tired world it is when you are looking through sad, tired eyes. I knew well enough how sad and tired my eyes had become, even in childhood, but there is always resurrection. I wish I had known that earlier, but God’s timing will always be in God’s time, not ours. And whether I waited patiently or not doesn’t matter. My time had arrived. I worked hard to treasure what I found inside, and treasure it I did. My voice was set free upon the world and its soared and soared and I didn’t understand why it had suddenly been set free. We have to accept our setbacks as well as our advances, knowing there is no answer, not for us here on Earth. All our answers reside with God and they are doled out rarely it seems to me. Life is not all about laughter and love. Life is hard. It is gritty and rubs as sorely as sandpaper, but even sandpaper gets worn smooth and maybe that is what I can say about my aging. I wore smooth and could finally see past the grit and could now treasure what I found lying inside. Yeah, maybe it is all about letting the grit wear down so that we can see inside.”
Dear Readers, because Maya came in so quickly and spoke non-stop while I typed as fast as I could, I have chosen to edit this as little as possible. These are her words and I am leaving them alone. Typically in an interview with a spirit guide there is the back and forth conversation between us, but not with Maya. She came in, she spoke, and she was done.