Eliza Bundledee | We May Encounter Many Defeats
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We May Encounter Many Defeats

We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated”
—Maya Angelou

I saw this picture in a magazine. It was split between pages and tore in weird way, but I don’t care. I LOVE this pic. I keep it by my desk, so I can look up through the day and be reminded of how important it is to let it all go and shakin’ up sometimes. She is dancing with playwright Amiri Baraka at a 1991 ceremony honoring the late poet, Langston Hughes. The look on her face and just the two of them getting their sassy on, just gets me.
I raised my daughter in San Francisco. I had other children that I cared for as well. I took the kids down to the famous, Glide Memorial Church, every Sunday. You had to get there very early, as the line would be around the block. And once you got in, it was packed. People from every walk of life—from homeless to renowned. But under that roof, we were all the same. The choir was multi-cultural and incredible. There was an awesome band and every service (they were called “celebrations”) was like a concert. So uplifting and fun. People danced, sang, hugged…. The Pastor, Cecil Williams, would occasionally be out of town or something and would have a friend step into his shoes to inspire us when he was away. One week, it was Maya Angelou. I actually cried.
She spoke with such grace. She had a boldness to her. A strength. I found I felt safe in her presence. Like everything was okay. It seemed like every word she spoke was poetry. She had a kind of rhythm with her words that put you in a groove as she expressed them. I feel so grateful I had the opportunity to experience her and in such a fabulous setting.

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