Maya Angelou recites her poem “Still I Rise”
There are some powerful lines in this poem about hope and overcoming obstacles.
“You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
I love this line right here because we can be knocked down quite a bit. From the pain, from our disease, from the life consequences of living with this pain chronic migraines and from the stigma of others in the workforce, medical field or even at times family.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Maybe one thing we can be certain about is our pain. As sure as the sun and the moon. We can be sure of our pain. Yet still we rise. We have a pretty consistent obstacle and yet we manage to fight on. Shine on.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
This stanza reminds me a great deal of some of the stigma we face. This idea we cannot be in a great deal of pain if we are working. Then, how can we work one day and not another? And the concept that people have that we cannot smile and laugh and be in pain. I know it is because chronic pain is an invisible disability and what cannot be seen can be doubted. However, I often wonder if people would prefer to See the impact of pain. To hear our screams. To see our tears. Or to see that all the time would simply be perceived as an exaggeration… because one simply cannot be in that great deal of pain all the time. It is not done. Damned if you show it, damned if you don’t. But we are fighters and as such we do not accept defeat easily. I know pain can break us, but I know we can mend those broken spots. I know it does not always break us, even though one would think it would.
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I love the hope in these lines. Although I know that I am a more melancholy soul that has a harder time finding a great deal of hope on any given day. Have to try harder for it. I may not like that my past is rooted in pain, but I loath that my future will be consumed by it. So I try not to think about that. I would love to rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear. Nevertheless there is hope in our futures and there is the capacity to decrease our suffering in different ways. We can improve our quality of life, which I think is vital.
It is a lovely poem that is a bit out of context for this, but it has some really inspiring lines in it. She has some great pieces.