Love is risky. It makes us vulnerable, and that can be scary. Love can open us to the possibility of rejection, disappointment, loss, to heartache and heartbreak.
And yet, what is life without love? Love for our soul mates, family, friends, pets. Love enriches and inspires.  It liberates.  It teaches. Love makes us fully human. It can cost us everything. But without it, we are nothing.
Touched by An Angel
We, unaccustomed to courage, exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple
 and comes into our sight to liberate us into life.
Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies,
old memories of pleasure, ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity,
In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave
And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is only love which sets us free

16 responses »

    • It’s a wonderful poem. I discovered Ms. Angelou when I was a teen and read the first of her autobiographical novels. Such a lyrical writer. I have been in a poetry reading mood of late and just had to share this. 😀

      • Thank you so much for sharing her poem Angie. I truly love her writings. Keep on posting as much poetry as you wish particularly if it is as inspiring as this one. I’ve started writing the ones you post into a notebook so they are to hand whenever I want to read them. We would be poor creatures indeed if we didn’t have love in our lives, whether it be the giving or the receiving of it.

  1. I love Maya Angelou. I also discovered her as a teen (thanks Oprah), and I can’t imagine anyone with a more different background to mine, but there’s something about her writing that moves me. To those unfamiliar with her work, I recommend “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” her 1969 autobiography about her early years. It’s the first pary in a volume of six.

    • She’s great, isn’t she? Her prose is as lyrical as her poetry; there is beauty to be found somehow even in the ugliness and pain she sometimes experienced as a black girl growing in the segregated South. I was 16 when I read I Know Why . . . after picking it up in the bookstore, reading the blurb, and thinking it was something I would like. Turned out to be something that I loved and have re-read many times. I have read them all, but that is still my favorite. I shared it with my older sister. Some passages make you laugh out loud “Preach it, I say PREACH it!”) and others, weep. She has a powerful and inspirational story to tell.

  2. I love her work. I was introduced to it in high school and it just resonated with me.

    “In the flush of love’s light we dare be brave … And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be…”

    I’m always amazed at how love can help us do things we never thought we would (or could) — sometimes simply happy (asking that cute boy out on a date), sometimes heart-rending (caring for a dying parent), sometimes terror-filled (flying across the continent on a moment’s notice after getting the 1am call that your son is in emergency surgery following a life-threatening accident). Yeah, been there, done that …

    An upbeat, personal example: a teenage crush — my first “love” ever — long (loooooooong 😉 ) ago banked so that maturity and responsibility could steer the course needed to raise a family, was rekindled whilst listening to a radio interview several years ago. That love flamed back so bright in that instant (to quote the song, “love was only sleeping”) that it spurred me to do something I had never done. The result of that impulse … that flush of love’s light rekindled … has led me to meeting people (including that first “love”), making lasting friends, going places and attending events I would have never experienced without that push that love gave me. Talk about being brave …

    And my second love — hubby — got to go along for the ride. 😉 (He’s *such* a GOOD man.)

    I hope this doesn’t sound silly, but here goes … now I find myself in this *wonderful* community. Spurred again, by love. See, that first love passed away earlier this year, suddenly, unexpectedly, devastatingly. That sounds melodramatic, but it truly was, for many, not just in his fan community but across the world. Hubby and I both shared that sadness. (I still shed a tear once in awhile, sparked by a memory, or a song …) But in the wake of the grief of his passing, there was this gentle nudge, this whispering of something he’d once said to me during one private moment. “Never stop experiencing.” So, as I searched for and watched hundreds of videos on YouTube, experiencing those bits and pieces of his career that I’d missed during my “responsible time,” an unrelated one came up in that sidebar that caught my attention. One about a dark knight, with smouldering blue eyes and a voice that curled my toes. That led me to RH, a new experience. Which led to VoD, and N&S, and MI-5, and then all the other the RA experiences. And the rest is, well, you know… 🙂

    And now I find myself, daring to be “brave” again, sharing in this community.

    “Yet it is only love which sets us free.”


    By the way, my name is Zan.

  3. Love Maya Angelou. I was introduced to her in College (yeeeears ago!) doing some research for Black History Month and fell upon her. Great woman with an aura of strength and peace that impresses me so much.

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