Today the world lost a profound and legendary woman when Maya Angelou passed away. In her 86 years, she accomplished more than most would ever dream of, becoming a poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress, and professor.
Her death in North Carolina this morning dominated headlines instantly. I found the most apropos in the Washington Post: "Poet Became a Symbol of Personal Transformation." Both her written and spoken words inspired peace, calm and change in so many of us, including me.
I was honored to interview Maya Angelou some 10 years ago in San Francisco. In a matter of seconds, I learned from her. As I extended my hand to introduce myself, I said: "Hello, I'm Marla. It's an honor to meet you." Holding my hand firmly and staring at me with her gentle eyes, she kindly replied: "Hello Marla. What's yourlast name? You should always introduce yourself with your first and last name." That greeting and lesson learned turned into one of my most educational and memorable interviews. The power of Maya Angelou's presence was magically overwhelming and practically tangible. And as I look back, my time with her was surreal, proving true one of her most famous quotes:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I may not recall every word Maya Angelou said to me, but I'll always remember how special she made me feel. So, today, more than ever, I feel so blessed I had my moment with such a prolific woman.
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