This August, I decided it was time to take some time out and throw my computer and phone in the sea, to be replaced by a stack of books I’d only half read. Not so easy when you have a release on the cards and your email box turns into an overstuffed letterbox - to be dealt with another time…

One of the books I felt a burning desire to read was anything by Maya Angelou. We are in such a time of division with everyone busy putting on a team shirt to identify which side they’re on / camp they’re in. I realise I have no idea where my Maya Angelou books are, so on a recent trip to London, I walk into Daunt Books. Confused by the pair who come in asking the guy whether he sells bike lights, I look around at the books. On not being able to find her name I ask the guy whether he has anything by Maya Angelou. He first looks confused and then says “Oh you mean Maya (pronounced Maya like the Mayans not Maya like the egg sauce) Angelou“ - never studied English Lit sorry. Anyway, he comes back with a stack and I pick the thinnest, least heavy.

Straight away I realise why this book was important. So beautifully written and with nothing to prove to anyone. Just being and sharing. With little pretence. Angelou is very modest. I love this quote: "If you want to know how important you are to the world, stick your finger in a pond and pull it out.”

I also love this quote: "The steward reminded me of many who were enraged whenever they saw a natural hairstyle in public.”

It’s so often that we fight our own, fight our roots, fight that which reminds us of a past vulnerability that we never thought we would have to look in the face again, that we thought we were beyond, better than, or that might expose us for what we really are. To the person, in whom we see a vulnerability we once had, that others exploited, almost mad at that person for not being harder, for not covering up that which made our past self weak - or we perceived it to be. Is this not the abuse cycle? Which we must break? To exploit vulnerability is the lowest trait. To not offer a hand to someone working their way up. To frown upon something that is a part of our own very body. To be in denial. Blame the other for past pain we have experienced.

I wrote down so many of the quotes in the book, that I pretty much just wrote out the whole book.

Instead of building walls, I’d rather put my energy into breaking them.

Thanks Angelou for such a beautiful sharing.

Exploded View's new album is due out on September 28th via Sacred Bones. You can watch the video for 'Sleepers' below.