Maya & Marion

 “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,

but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

~ Maya Angelou

“Dreams provide us with the nourishment we need to live our reality.”

~ Marion Woodman

Maya Angelou and Marion Woodman share much in common.

With Maya’s passing, the parallels emerge like photos in a darkroom.

Women who occupy a time in a particular Zeitgeist.

(what in the world was going on in the collective 80+ years ago?)

Women who occupy enormous space in the Literary Arts.

…from humble beginnings…

Depresion garden solo-filtered

Marion’s Depression Garden


Marguerite Ann Johnson

Though their pathways were different, each experienced her own “Dancing in the Flames”.

The Metamorphosis took place in the seeking …


Finding her true homeland.


Understanding one’s roots.

Understanding addiction.

Finding her voice.

young_maya_angelou (1)

Finding a way through dance and the body.


Jacob's Pillow 1982 Thanks to Gail Grynbaum
Jacob’s Pillow 1982
Thanks to Gail Grynbaum




Coming home.


 Through all their introverted and extroverted pathways,

there was a central line:


The spoken word.


From Emily Dickenson to Angelou’s own inspiration:


caged2“I know what the caged bird feels, alas!

When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;

When the river flows like a stream of glass;

When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,

And the faint perfume from its chalice steals–

I know what the caged bird feels!”

Sympathy ~ Paul Laurence Dunbar

(can you taste that in your mouth?)

(just say it out loud)

(I can hear Marion speaking those words deliciously)


And, in “Coming Home to Myself”, Marion hears the Soul’s voice in an analysand’s dream:


She dreamed a voice told her,

Go to the attic and find a black box.

Still dreaming, she slipped her hand in.

She gently lifted out a bird,

tiny, skeletal, starving.

Stricken, she wept

for this bird she had loved as a child

and then forgotten.

Her tears changed its body

Hope Natasha Isenhour
Natasha Isenhour

into a radiant small boy who said,

I only wanted to sing my song.

Such a dream will change your life

–if you remember you once had a song to sing.


(could you hear Maya speaking those words?)



To be continued…

Vox Anima, SDM

p.s.   For blog brevity, I referred to Miss Angelou and Mrs. Woodman by their first names.

Author: Susan Davis Martin, M.A., M.F.T. & StillDancing...

Body Soul Confluence Where The Arts and Psyche Meet

4 thoughts on “Maya & Marion”

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