|"Reflections from the Past" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
When I saw the Maya Angelou quote, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," I started thinking even more about the importance of spreading positive energy--of creating positive memories. How tragic if the only memory someone has of you is the negative way you made her/him feel.
As an artist, I strive to create memorable paintings. These paintings all hold a message of some kind. The message can be as simple as, "I love this scene from nature." Or, perhaps it's, "Do you see something more here?" "Is there a symbol?" Whatever the painting is, I want the viewer to feel something they will remember when they see it.
As a writer, I want to put words on the paper that have meaning. I want to leave a positive message in the end, and, as a writer of romance, I want the reader to close my book with a good feeling.
The writer of poetry, as Angelou was, has an even more memorable way of conveying thoughts. I will never forget the words of Edgar Allen Poe in the poem Annabel Lee:
"I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me."
Those words made me feel Poe's passion. They made me want to know more about Annabel Lee and why Poe cared so deeply. They are words and feelings I will never forget.
As a teacher, I want my students to remember not my words so much as the positive feelings and inspiration I hope they gain from them. Students from long ago have come back to tell me of accomplishments I inspired; they have good feelings, positive memories from the past.
What a profound statement Maya Angelou made with her words, her poems. She was an amazing woman and poet who knew how to use her words wisely. She knew how to create strong feelings. Angelou is like the words from the Zumba song, "I'm the one you won't forget."