Yesterday, while I was considering using the tree above for today’s #ThursdayTreeLove, I received a text message from my Raven, asking if I were in my office. I had a moment of excitement thinking she was visiting from California and was on her way to see me. Sadly, that was not the case. However, she had her sister, who lives in the area, deliver a beautiful “forever bouquet” with an elegant note tucked inside that only an English major could write [Biased? Perhaps]. Her note included the last verse of Maya Angelou’s poem below.
When Great Trees Fall Maya Angelou
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes light, rare…
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines….”
This quote is from Dr. Maya Angelou’s powerful poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth.”
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet Traveling through casual space Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns To a destination where all signs tell us It is possible and imperative that we learn A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it To the day of peacemaking When we release our fingers From fists of hostility And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean When battlefields and coliseum No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters Up with the bruised and bloody grass To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches The screaming racket in the temples have ceased When the pennants are waving gaily When the banners of the world tremble Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders And children dress their dolls in flags of truce When land mines of death have been removed And the aged can walk into evenings of peace When religious ritual is not perfumed By the incense of burning flesh And childhood dreams are not kicked awake By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it Then we will confess that not the Pyramids With their stones set in mysterious perfection Nor the Gardens of Babylon Hanging as eternal beauty In our collective memory Not the Grand Canyon Kindled into delicious color By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji Stretching to the Rising Sun Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor, Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace We, this people on this mote of matter In whose mouths abide cankerous words Which challenge our very existence Yet out of those same mouths Come songs of such exquisite sweetness That the heart falters in its labor And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet Whose hands can strike with such abandon That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness That the haughty neck is happy to bow And the proud back is glad to bend Out of such chaos, of such contradiction We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it We, this people, on this wayward, floating body Created on this earth, of this earth Have the power to fashion for this earth A climate where every man and every woman Can live freely without sanctimonious piety Without crippling fear
When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.”
Five Powerful Countries Agree to Avoid Nuclear War and Work for Disarmament
Earlier this month, China, France, Russia, the UK and the US signed an agreement to avoid nuclear war and work toward global disarmament. These five nations released a joint statement affirming that “…a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” The ending of the five-paragraph joint statement is especially positive: “We are resolved to pursue constructive dialogue with mutual respect and acknowledgment of each other’s security interests and concerns.” You can read more at The Guardian.
Honoring Inspiring Women
Matel is honoring black journalist and activist Ida B. Wells by making a doll in her image as part of the company’s “Inspiring Women” series which includes Dr. Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks. Good Morning America has details. Poet Maya Angelou will also become the first Black woman portrayed on a U.S. quarter. Other women to be featured on coins will include astronaut Sally Ride; actress Anna May Wong; suffragist and politician Nina Otero-Warren; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.” NPR has more on the coins.
A Champion of Earth
On Dec. 7th, The United Nations recognized Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, a wildlife veterinarian, as one of its “champions of the Earth” for promoting the One Health approach to conservation in Africa. This wise woman connects the well-being of animals, humans, and planet Earth.
My #JusJoJan Prompt is Up Today
In personal good news, Linda accepted my prompt (cycle) for Just Jot it January, and it’s up today! Good News Tuesday cycles around every week, so make sure to drop by again for some good news! My #JusJoJan post, will hopefully be up before noon.
Got Good News?
Feel free to share your good news or GNT link in the comments!