Out and About

The auditorium at the university was packed tonight, a total sell out. I was on my own attending the lecture by Maya Angelou at The University of Western Ontario, my alumni. The ticket to the event was my birthday present from my son who knew I would appreciate the experience. Parking was horrendous and I had to park way off campus, at the edge of a dangerous construction site, cross a busy roadway and hike over to the hall with my temperamental sciatic backside acting up. Out of puff, I settled down at the first available seat, (general admission), and politely engaged in conversation with the lady beside me. After a moment I  realized she wasn’t much of a talker or maybe just shy. The program started shortly and I became engrossed with the storytelling, poetry and wisdom of the sassy, lovely, wise Maya. I took lots of notes and was gently moved to tears. That’s the way I roll.

When the evening was over I just sat back and waited for the crowd to leave before attempting to maneuver the stairs and congested hallway to the main exit. I had already made up my mind to take a cab back to my car to avoid falling etc in the construction area on the walk back to the car. As luck would have it a nice shiny cab was waiting and I jumped in, a bit like Cinderella, in my own mind. As the traffic was terrible with everyone leaving the campus, the driver and I chatted. He was a wonderful guy. By the time I finally got to my car I had learned about why his family had left Turkey and how he felt about the politics surrounding his homeland and how he is managing life in Canada. We also discussed Maya Angelou books as he had looked her up on the internet when he heard of the big event tonight. He had “Not the end of the book;” by Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carriere on the seat beside him and wanted to know what I enjoyed reading. ( I haven’t had a man ask me about my reading preferences for……well, never…..excepting of course, my blog friend. I told him about the book, The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig that I just started ( recommended by my blog friend) and he knew it was short stories but hadn’t read it. Amazing! (No, I’m not being gullible here.)  When I told him I liked Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath , he grinned and at length, discussed the politics of the great piece of literature. Safe and sound at my car, we shook hands and I paid the fare. Darn, I wish he had been sitting beside me at the lecture.



Filed under books, family relationships, friends, history, humour, politics, retirement, social issues, storytelling, theatre, writing

10 responses to “Out and About

  1. TBLN

    I am so jealous you got to see Maya Angelou! That sounds like a wonderful conversation you had with the cab driver. I love talking to anyone about books too. Especially you, because you are open minded and don’t bash my sometimes weird taste in books. I can’t wait to hear more about how this lecture was!

  2. i’m quite amazed, and gladdened, that he knew the title…a literate man this. this post is also a wonderful reflection of the soul of your great humanity. continue…

  3. …re: your most kind comment, thankyou Tony…something to try to live up to…

  4. pixilated2

    Listening to May Angelou read can make me cry. Just like that. Her words, her voice, her knowing… Wish I’d been there with you. ~ Lynda

    • Oh, me too! It was like all 2000 or so of us were gathered at her feet, just listening to, learning from and loving her. There wasn’t a single person talking while she was on stage. So great for all the students there. You would have been a most welcome seat partner! Maya said poetry brought her out of her muteism. She loved Shakepeare as she could identify strongly with his feelings…one reference made her think he was a black girl too, abused and scorned….I’m not sure what the reference was…i think one of the sonnets…she loved Poe as well, the internal rhyme he used etc, also Burns ( she recited a passage in Gaelic), Japenese poems etc…….and then she talked about the African American poets…Paul Dunbar, Johnson etc..I’ve got a lot of poetry homework to do now…

  5. wordsfallfrommyeyes

    A black girl, abused and scorned – way interesting stuff. I am so unlearned when it comes to authors and books. I once commented I love words and the person said “You must read a lot” and to my shame, shame I said not really. Time, it’s just TIME, you know.

    Hey, I dropped by because Barkinginthedark nominated you on his blog award. Glad I did! Great page 🙂

  6. Hi! I wish I knew you had a ticket as I would have loved to go with you. Maya Angelou articulated why the caged bird sings and why I understand why. Lesley

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