Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Coming into Her Own -- Sunday Features - 10/07/2011

From the moment female inhales her first breath she is on a quest to find herself and piece together how she fits into the larger picture of existence. It’s a journey of growth, trial and error, and discovery. And this journey will follow her all the days of her life on earth.
I remember being the new kid at school, over and over again. The games the other girls played to let me know I was on the bottom of some unspoken food chain. The games the boys initiated to let me know I was a welcome distraction from some unspoken suppression. The things I repeated in my head all day long lest the mental madness become my very own Armageddon. My mother’s words that “I could be anything I dreamed of being.” My father’s continued reminder that I wasn’t “anyone’s doormat,” and that I could “do anything that boys can do and maybe somethings even better.” The first teacher to say, “You are brilliant; never lose sight of that.” The first boy I beat in a high-stakes recess race who exclaimed, “But you’re a stupid girl! Girls can’t run faster than boys.”
These were the words I clung to, the ones attached to my first life lessons that would weave into the very fibers of my survival. These are the words that keep me pressing forward, still on repeat after all these years. What are the words you hear that ignite your passion to keep pressing on? What are the images that remind you that you are a dynamic woman, one who may not have arrived but is clearly pressing through to become all the woman there is to be? Never lose sight of these things.
Hope and determination are a powerful duo. Pressing forward often means wrestling with one’s own shadow, in all of its binding, repressing forms.

On My Own Ground by © electricstorm
Your voice came in and out, muffled by the revolutions above,
A slight humming, lulling me back to the depths…
All the while being pulled towards the creeping morning light. My vision skews as I face another day, another day of scenarios, another day with you. Conscious of those who walked before me…walked these same steps…forever conscious of my surroundings…no thanks to you. You are my little shadow, forever haunting, forever present.
Vulnerable I am not, yet you remain after each breakthrough…you are not the slick that can be rubbed away. Unfortunately you and I somehow fused…though I like to think of you as not wanting to give up the ghost, and I’m not laughing. The flaw not equated on your part was my ambition…for one day… like those before me…you, will be, no more. And then I can be the victor unmasked by circumstance. For you see, I was never meant to be captured…

Plant yourself and behold what blossoms!

Rooted  by © Antaratma Images

Grabbing freedom by the hand and stepping out in courage and faith are common realities, and often these are the only valuables within reach when walking out the door of past hurts, repressions and failures.

a woman by © Sally Omar
she closed the door
gently behind her
descended to the bottom
of the staircase
one glance back
she was gone
with bags in hand
her clothes, a few pictures
a little money
knowing the time had come
to leave all that she knew
her heart was heavy
but she came to the realization
she was a woman
wanting to be free of the grasp
of being held down
she could no longer breathe
stifling from old-fashioned rules
she had to say goodbye
to a mother
ruled by the heavy hand
of her father
a demon in his own right
wanting full control
with his own lurid secrets
to her sister
who followed in the sad footsteps
of a lost weak mother
to her brother
who followed in the vile footsteps
of an overbearing father
leaving her home of unhappiness
and disillusion
leaving the old rituals
of a dysfunctional family
no goodbyes were said
she wanted freedom
the air was brisk and cool
the sun had just gone down
walking with long strides
her long golden hair bounced
with each step
an unknown journey had just begun
one that would lead her
to a new look at womanhood
and strength
she took a deep breath
whispering “i am free”
a woman
Don’t waste another moment on excuses that push your dreams and aspirations to another day. A day where more things may line up, where more things might be just right . Within the imperfections are woman’s perfections.

Imperfections by © Renate Dartois

The first images most women have that embody the many dimensions of hidden strength and courage are of their mothers.
  The Journey by © MaryMac
The night is cold with snow
The wind mourns as it blows below
The chimney and crumbling eves
Are quainter by the rustle of dead leafs.
Sweet memories cascade back
To momma’s house…
her kindness and council linger on in my heart
She taught lessons and meanings of life’s challenges
I hear her voice to say, “Ann, life is not fair
Life is a journey to be savored and to be enjoyed”
Her life on earth is over…her piano sold.
I continue upon my journey awaiting patiently…still learning
Watching my daughter and her son grow.
I know one day we will
see one another again…
and she’ll ask of me
“Ann, tell me about your journey…
Did you live and savor to make your way home?”

How sweet it is when she comes into her own,wherever that may be.
Homecoming by © Tate Fox

 Often, the best seat in the house is the one within. Here’s a reminder of the importance of being a great observer.

Observer by © Sybille Sterk
I am sitting
in a little room
in my mind
a bit untidy
but the chair is comfy
I watch
the world go by
like a soap opera
following story lines
and characters
making connections
rewriting endings
I spot the problems
and their solutions
long before anyone else
I shout really loud
but no one listens
and no one hears
I am sitting
in a little room
in my mind
a bit messy and dusty
but the chair is ever so comfy.

There’s value in numbers. Never underestimate the power of two minds working together, of two hearts beating in unity for the betterment of worthy causes, of two souls destined and determined to find the dynamic woman within.
  I am not pretty by © msdebbie
I am not pretty.
I prefer instead
to be described as
great in bed.
I am not especially angry,
but gosh, with an opinion
it is easy to fool folks!
That’s right, chalk it up
to anger management issues.

No need to consider
your own level of fear.
Imagine that! Such
vitriol from a girl!
I will not be your
damsel in distress.
I prefer instead
to be called Debstar,
rockstar, awesome,
than crying bleakly
to be rescued like
some Disney princess.
I am sorry if these thoughts
offend you. After all,
I was just meant to be
the smart one.
My beautiful sister Barb
took her jibes as
the pretty one,
especially when a first-round
uni offer was not provided.
But she overcame that
token comfort,
the small-minded label
of a country-town
where such distinctions
are rife, yet meaningless.
Here is what we do
I told her in 1994.
You have five minutes
to cry, get all of that out
of your system, then we plan.
You would be a great nurse.
They will be lucky to have you.
We will make it so they cannot say no
And so it was . . . persistence
delivered a second-round offer…
So, let me tell you again,
■ Debstar is not a sex kittenstuck on a stripper polesomewhere sleazy.■ Barb is not a pretty facewho can be shamed intovacuity for perpetuity.We are like-minded sisters
fighting the good fight.
■ We know there are no damsels in distress■ Even a sex kitten can work outhow to get down from a stripper poleI am not a pretty girl,
Barb is not a pretty face,
I don’t want to be a pretty girl,
you guessed it,
I want to be so much more
than a pretty girl,
than a smart girl.
I want to be all that I want to be.
Such ridiculous labels do not define me. 

It’s alright to drift in between dreams, just as it’s alright to reinvent the dormant ones or weave several together into a chain that leads the way.

In between dreams  by © Trish Woodford

Just as salmons swim upstream, so too will a spirit longing to fly into the promise of a satisfying life.

Intensify by © Vesna VD
Soft, pastel background silence
Black, sharp, ink words sound so dense
Intensifies the hearing
Calm, still, frozen landscapes
Sudden flapping, the photograph escapes
Intensifies the sight
Whirlwind thoughts, emotional nightmare
Tamed by the newborn wisdom flare
Intensifies the smell
Deep dive under the skin
Feeling the waves within
Intensifies the touch
Salmon swims upstream somewhere
Berries are shared with a black bear
Intensifies the taste
Day by day she is infused with profusion, she shouts to the world, “I will survive and I will rejoice in this journey!”

Exuberance by © Cabisha

Holding onto hope infuses dreams into reality.
  The flight of birds by © April Mansilla
I wonder what you feel
When the sun is high and my eyes
when the moon is only half full
Of himself
It will never be too late
Like water rushing between toes
At the edge of perfect
My adoration
My life
This is a place where
dreams live wide eyed
White clouds
and blue
looking out upon
this amazing world
the shutter slammed today
and I took a picture of
a million words
like birds
escaping between
tell me how you feel
it is never too late
it is early hours when thoughts rise
and stretch out
skin turning luminescent in the light
of the matter
and holding onto
things such as love
and hope
days like this
My mouth is half open ready to speak
but instead I smile

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