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Rainbow in the Clouds

Rainbow in the Clouds is a video of approximately 1 hour length, featuring Maya Angelou and set at Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. It was produced by Detroit Educational TV in 1992.

Here is what Beth Lewis says about Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou - The Rainbow in my Clouds
by Beth Lewis, August 14, 2000

Here comes the sun...

I love Maya Angelou. That is, if it's possible to love someone that you don't even know personally. Somehow, this world famous poet and author seems as if she chose each word just for me, for my profound inspiration and enjoyment.

And, I savor it. I grasp each syllable and use it to soothe my soul, to better my life and consciousness.

To me, Maya (I like to pretend that we're on a first-name basis!) represents nobility, wisdom, poise, exuberance, and perseverance. Despite numerous obstacles in her life, she continues to seize every precious moment in life and make the most of it. I don't really know how best to convey her special qualities to you except by offering you a few of her most encouraging and eloquent quotes:

"I love to laugh. I really never trust people who don't laugh."

"Each time I succeed, in a small gesture, I'm encouraged. Each time I fail, I forgive myself right away."

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."

I imagine that most people have figures like this in their lives- well-known individuals with whom you feel a true connection on a deeper level. Such people help to give our lives focus - personifying our ideals and values better than any statement or motto.

Other people may admire prominent musicians, inventors, politicians, or artists from present day or throughout the eras of history. I'm just fortunate enough to have fallen in love with the work of a living writer who tours the country regularly on speaking engagements! I'm so lucky!

I've been in the presence of Dr. Angelou three times. Twice, I've been one person in an audience of thousands absorbing her passionately presented words. And, one precious time, I actually got to speak to her one-on-one at a book signing! I took this unique opportunity to say to her, "Thank you for your wisdom." I will never forget her reply to me, "Thank you for hearing it." I feel so lucky to be able to say "thank you" to the woman whose picture sits framed on my desk, providing soulful literary inspiration as I write.

Whether you've fallen in love with the works of Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Van Gogh, or John F. Kennedy, take a moment to think about this special figure and the ideals they represent to you.

Better yet, think of a friend, colleague, or family member who's made a difference in your life and take a minute to say "thank you" for the love and inspiration they provide. Then, you can turn around and try to be a hero to someone else because, as Maya Angelou says, "you never know when you're going to be the rainbow in somebody's clouds."

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