Paying homage to the women who have shaped, fed, loved and nurtured me over the years.
“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world
upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it
back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it. The
men better let them.” Ain’t I a woman – Sojourner Truth
The kind of woman I always wanted to be didn’t come into view until my late 30’s. I was not aware of my strengths, I didn’t know how to harness my femininity, my passions and my voice. There were and still are many aspects of the woman I want to become that have yet to reveal themselves. I have since found there are a lot of women who are and have similar experiences finding their true identity. Although I have amazing, friends, guides, and teachers in my life, up until recently I didn’t know how to embody the woman I could be proud of. Who was that woman to me? How did she reflect herself to the outside world?
The woman I have now come to love, I owe to the countless women who have given me the thread to continue to honor my ancestors, my guides and my mentors along the way. Everything I have I owe to the women in my life. Sharing who I am openly here and in my poetry comes from the continuous support of my mothers (biological and adopted), grandmothers, friends, sisters, aunts, mentors, witches. Powerful, loving women, held me up when I was collapsing, held me accountable when I was being an asshole, trusted me with their hearts and helped my connect with mine. Loving and being loved has been shown to me by the careful guidance, of countless women over the years.
The strength I gather from the women around me, our common and no so common experiences, started at a very young age. At 5 I observed my grandmother in her infinite wisdom and strength give me life lessons I was only to understand later in life. My voice teacher in grade school ignited my passions for writing and singing, encouraging me to unabashedly find my voice. My wild artistic and uncompromising side was encouraged and celebrated by my close friends who knew that an untamed heart was better than a closed one.
These amazing accomplished, courageous women, saw me for my potential, raised me to be strong and independent and taught me to think for myself. I was drawn to their wisdom and their complexity. Women defined me and shaped me as an artist in school, a writer in college and a performer in my late 30’s. My sisters have encouraged me to be myself, speak my truth, show my vulnerability, share my experience, in ways that will always humble and astound me.
To celebrate the women in our lives is to celebrate life itself. To honor the women who have given before us, we honor our place in her-story. In the next few posts I’ll be sharing small stories from the women who have and continue to be my backbone.
Happy Womens HER-Story month.