Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Art of Grace and Poise - Midweek Features -15/02/2012

Many—if not all—of the women who inspire me most are those who live a life that surpasses their circumstances. The kind of courageous and determined women who continuously rise above the things intended to defeat them, to weigh them down, or to snuff out their ambition and purpose. Whenever I feel like giving up and letting go, I’ll be reminded or made aware of one of these extraordinary women. What’s most inspiring about these women’s stories isn’t limited to their ability to simply overcome: what’s equally impressive is how they hold and carry themselves while they are enduring, as they are overcoming, and at times, even as they are being defeated by things beyond their control.

This week’s feature collection has been comprised of images and poetry that is reminiscent of this graceful endurance. The examples of dynamic and courageous women that adorn PPM’s gallery and writing forums are too many to include. Please feel free to post and share additional images and writing that inspire you in these ways.

She carries her daily load with a level of grace that surpasses understanding, and she does so without faltering in her course.

From my window © Valerie Rosen

Her cries are stored in her secret garden of silent suffering. She’s all too aware that no one needs to be weighed down by her burdens.

The Silent Cry—Self Portrait © Jaeda DeWalt

There is a narrow path between the human doormat and the bitter door-crasher. Even blindfolded, the determined woman will find her way.

equilibrium © autumnwind
is a tricky thing
years ago
I decided
not to be a doormat
my warrior kicked in
big time
didn’t realize
it was always there…
my sword came out
quite shiny and new
I thrashed my way
through brambles
stabbing my targets
straight through the heart
it felt freeing
it was a force
to be reckoned with…
as they say
…it felt awful
the more I wounded
the more I killed
the more I died
is a tricky thing
how could I not realize
with every little death
with every drop of blood
from every mark I hit
there came a rebound
someone dear to me
too many I love
were sprayed
by shards
in the shattering
what have I done
what had I done
gone mad
in my revenge
I put my sword down
kept it by my side
where still
it fiercely resides
yet balance…
is a tricky thing
we are born and raised
who we are
with choices
of who we become yet
I decide to choose balance
but it is a tricky thing
letting myself be hurt
by those who need to…
lash out
I’d rather be her
filled with love
though wounded
rather than she
filled with rage
… the one lashing out
vengeance is not mine
and this lesson
so difficult still
to learn
I am only human
do not suppress me
for balance is tricky
and my weapon weighs heavy
upon my side

Beneath the composure is the branded soul who’s been seasoned by the consequences of experience and the many faces of growth. No one gets to see the tears that stream behind toughened skin.

Into My Soul © AmbientKreation

Her courage cannot be feigned, for she’s looked death in the eye and said, “Oh no you don’t; not today.”

The Operation © Agent7

You will not hear her cry out her regrets for the absent help and protection that should be surrounding her. Those things are locked away behind the rattling gate of her heart.

Heart sore © Su2anne
This pain is not some
Malady. Some
Ill begotten
Ailment. Nor are my
Tears shed unforgotten
Like stones left at your
Grave. Your daughter’s
Grief; though years have
Passed, does not
Slacken. My rheumy
Heart; a constant
Ache, of what it is
Missing. For the
Child in this
Woman needs her
Father still.

And even in the midst of her agony, to the onlooking eye she’s blossoming.

an agonizing sorrow © strawberries

Even through the dark, she taps into that internal drive and pushes through, pushes on.

Blind © annacuypers

There are times of survival she holds steady and convinces herself these moments of everyday monotony will pass.

nothing at all © Sybille Sterk
little drops of poison,
held in check
by a rigid position
a knife glinting sharp
stopped next to my jugular
with just a thought
of nothing at allin everyday humdrum
this is working
but what about dreams
when the toxins
seep through the cracks
the blade doesn’t stop
but goes straight for the heart
when all that saves me
is letting go and holding on
swallowing morning tears
burning as they run down
the back of my throat
honing my skill
that special talent
of thinking
of nothing at allfree floating
in a cloud of
everyday monotony
there is
no poison
no knife
no life

Oh, how graceful a performer is she who masters silencing the drama with such poise.
Gloria Swanson Echos by © Moon Black

Like the hermit crab, the survivor knows when and how to crawl into safekeeping and sit it out a spell.

Safe Passage © Anita Inverarity

She’ll shed her cloak of grey regret, and clothe herself in royal colours where she’ll walk her days in an elegance that rises above her circumstances.

Sea Change © RC deWinter
This morning, I did not put on the solemn shades
of sorrow, for I am done for good and all with that.
Away dull greys and blacks, those shadow shrouds
fit only for Persephone in chains.
Oh yes, she was a queen,
but only of the crumbling pit,
the sad and stray remains
of life no more.
Instead, to match the sunrise,
I arrayed myself most royally in crimson, gold and blue:
the crimson of my passion, the gold my steadfast heart,
the blue the bowl of heaven – the colors of a living queen.
And on my silver tresses sits a chaplet
woven wonderfully of flowers from the field;
my feet in satin slippers meant for dancing,
not for death.
Taking up a crystal flask
I scented softly all my veils
with the breath of sandalwood
and clove and fern.
Then, thus accoutred, forth I went
to meet what must be met,
no more the slave of sorrow,
no more cloaked in regret.
No, I shall live in sunshine
and cherish all delight,
no more to haunt the corridors
of unlit starless night.

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