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I met Ms. Maya’s work in my early twenties, when I was still full of idealism and brush about aged words, not that I was in anyway anti-learning, just anti listening.

Aged words like aged wine require an appreciation, you need to give your palate time to appreciate the flavor of aged wine, the aroma, the richness, then finally . . . an acceptance and understanding of the taste, finally you can clearly articulate to another what the wine tastes like, how it makes you feel.

When you give in to the kaleidoscope, the riot of flavors, the rich bouquet of aroma and essence then you are better placed to explain and appreciate what you are tasting. Words, aged words, like wine, need time, they can only be fully appreciated over a stretch of seasons.

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Back to my story, I came across her work, and at the time I read it in a rush, trying to catch the flow of her prose as opposed to taking in anything she wrote. I did not want to absorb her meaning, her intent, or maybe my mind was not enlightened enough, my experience mature enough, for me to sit, read and digest her words, in turn developing an appreciation of the words that she wrote. An understanding that they are not to be be used loosely . . .without care, but that her words are a precious trove, a gem of learning, a reminder that nothing is really new, and as such nothing cannot be overcome.

I read one of her poems again recently and found it so relatable, the ability to relate was partly because of the development of my exposure and experience, since I last read it, I’ve hurt a little, fought and won some battles and understood a little better the strength in silence and the victory in humility.

So I begin with an appreciation of one of the greats, a bowing to the lessons of age, experience and time. An appreciation of tragedy, hope, wins and loses. An understanding that in every single experience a lesson can be drawn and an opportunity provided to learn and to grow.

thank you.