Monday, January 31, 2011

Wild Women's Voices

[image by Sanura at pixdaus.com]



All the Voices

trying to shape who we are:
“children should be seen and not heard”
“who do you think you are?”
“I’ll give you something to cry about”
“do it to prove you love me”
“I want, therefore you must give me....”
“you’re my wife, dammit, and you’ll act like my wife”
“you don’t understand a man’s needs”
“three babies in three years?
That’s what women are for, isn’t it?”
(this from a doctor,
a male, naturally)
and then, the nail in the coffin:
“things were all right
till you started thinking
you were a Person.”


Our inner voices
clamored
to be heard
but we were well trained
to shut them out,
not pay attention,
against all reason
convince ourselves
that other peoples’ needs
were more important
took precedence.
Putting oneself on the list?
Wouldn’t that be selfish?


How does one value self
when one has never been valued?


But the writing voice: that voice
they could not silence.
In the scratching of the pen on paper,
the pounding of the typewriter keys,
that Self began to get harder to ignore.


It began to bang up against
the bars of the cage,
rattle the locks,
drag the chains along the floor,
very annoying to a spouse.


It was all over
soon after she discovered
the “click” of The Feminine Mystique,
drew in great gasping breaths
of relief and recognized truth
at the words of Gloria Steinem
and Ms Magazine,
days when “Hit the Road, Jack”
became her anthem.


When she read
the words of Desiderata:
No less than the moon
and the stars,
you have a right to be here,
she wept.
She had not known that.


Midway along
the river of life,
she found
traveling was smoother
when she flowed
with the current,
instead of fighting it.
When the clamor
of voices
lessened
so that she could hear,
she realized
that the voice within,
unheeded for years,
had never told her
an untruth.


That voice,
she discovered,
was her deepest wisdom;
it was her
truest friend and,
when a best friend
lovingly tells you
a profound truth,
she learned
it is best to listen.
That voice
that a lifetime
of people
had tried to stifle
was her
highest knowing,
and her most direct
way home.


From the day
she began to listen,
she recognized
that a wise
Wild Woman
lived within,
full of the ocean,
the earth and sky,
with a voice
like the wind.


The Wild Woman
told her
Solitude
was the
Peaceful Way.
She chose
a wolf-pup
to accompany her
in latter days.


She hears
a song of the sea
inside, feels the
call of the wild,
follows the pull
of the moon
and tides,
keeps the heart
of a child.


She withdrew
from the fray,
she rose,
somewhat
tattered and sore,
retired
to a tranquil isle:
she will struggle
no more.


To the young ones
who follow,
she’d offer
this bit of truth:
“Listen first to
the Voice Within,
for a happier youth.”

12 comments:

  1. Powerfulo epic of the wisdom journey of manyt women of my generation (born 1950)

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  2. So beautiful, it spoke to my heart! It has been a trying week. Me, struggling to finish a deadline and my hubby giving me another one. Frog cleaned by a certain date or he will toss my stash. I am listening to my voice and pressing onward. Maybe I should stop doing laundry and cooking for awhile, so I can follow my vision, my voice. ;-D
    I am printing this out; It speaks to my fragmented heart n' soul~xXx

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  3. Sherry, you have captured so much of any woman's journey to herself. Thank you much,

    Elizabeth

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  4. Did you ever read a blog called Circling My Head? http://circlingmyhead.blogspot.com/
    It was written by Renee, who was surviving (and battling) cancer... and then suddenly, one day, she was gone. But she gave so much of herself, and the truth of her Wise and Wild Woman spirit, that none of us are left bereft.
    You remind of her. Desiderata was her favourite piece.

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  5. I forgot to mention, her daughter Angelique is carrying on with the blog now (she has Lupus too, which was what drew Renee to me)... and here is what she writes about her mother and Desiderata
    http://circlingmyhead.blogspot.com/2010/09/carrying-on.html

    Good night!

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  6. Voices of reason get floored when faced with obstinate souls.Good sense prevails in all instances when time is given for a cooling off. Beautiful, loved this!

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  7. My dear Sherry, thank goodness you found your inner voice and were able to rise from what was holding you down. I wish my mom could read this. My wife always tells me men have strength of body, but women have strength of mind. Now I've read this, I understand what she means.

    You're a true survivor and proof that all it takes is a little courage to put one foot in front of the other to just keep going without looking back.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Sherry.

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  8. You just gave a womans history course covering the last 50 years....and all because the wild woman in you spoke and speaks today....very nice voice Sherry...bkm

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  9. This really rings true for me. You've eloquently captured the journey to self of many women..including me. "She hears a song of the sea inside"...oh, yes, I can relate! Bless you for sharing this poem.

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  10. Wow, this is profound and beautiful...it resonated so deeply with me. I feel honored to have read this poem filled with such honesty and wisdom...thank you for these empowering words!

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  11. Sherry, I am so glad I read this today. Been having a time at it laely I wrote Broken Wings as plain as clear.
    Your poem gave me a little breath I needed. Thanks you sweetie.
    http://themslvh.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/broken-wings/

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!