Still I Rise; A Phenomenal Woman

I love poetry. It is one of my favorite forms of literature and spoken word.

It is always breathtaking to me to hear a poet read their own words. To hear the inflection the use and the words they stress as they try you to understand the meaning behind their work.

One of my favorite poets would have to be Dr. Maya Angelou.

The two poems in the title of this post are two of my favorites. They inspire me to be a better woman.

Phenomenal woman speaks to all women. It speaks to the power you possess and how you should carry yourself as to exhibit that power.

If you look up the word phenomenal it means: remarkable, exceptional, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable and stunning.

That is powerful if you change phenomenal with any of those words yet, phenomenal encompasses them all.

I shall rise speaks to humans as a whole both men and women. It talks about the resiliency of the human spirit and now matter how low we get we can rise. The part that speaks to my soul in this piece is the part about the long night and in the morning we look at people and say I’m fine. We all do it. Even if we’re not, we say we’re fine. That is actually a running joke in my family, no matter what, we are always fine.

Dr Angelou and I are very different. I am light skinned, she was dark skinned. She was a college professor, poet, activist, pulitizer prize and Grammy winner, she received the Presidental medal of freedom. I am a high school graduate with a degree in the school of life. I have an important job for my community but I never achieve any of the honors she did.

She was phenomenal in her way and I like to think that I am in mine. I got the chance to speak with her once on the telephone when I worked as a librarian. I was asking her for a copy of one of her poems to give away at a Black History program. When the package arrived, there were two poems. One to give away and one for me.

No one knows until now that I have it. It is safely tucked away.

I was in a Barnes and Noble in the same city she was in the day she transitioned from this life. I had gotten me a cup of coffee and was sitting there when I heard the news. I cried, a friend had left. As I sat there wiping my tears, all I could think was the caged bird was free and oh what a song she must be singing.


The Experience of Overcoming Fear….

I found some writing prompts on Pinterest and thought I would take a break from lamenting over health, family and business . The struggle of being a widow in a world she doesn’t understand anymore and all the other things I add to the blog as they cross my mind.

This exercise will allow me to reach deeper than the current moment and somewhat stretch my creative muscle.

So the first prompt the experience of overcoming fear….

When I first read this, I thought of a single incident when I faced a specific fear. Rereading the same prompt, I allowed myself to remember several.

Fear has drive my existence my entire life.  Several specific things come to mind.

I have a overwhelming fear of snakes. When I was a youth services librarian, we would have a snake program every other summer. Of course my first summer was the snake program. So the day of the program came and the performer hands me two small snakes. They are so small that both of them fit in the palm of one hand. As I’m walking amongst this group of children, I remind myself that I can’t let them see that I’m afraid. So as I’m walking along in the back of my mind I’m singing the words to Jesus loves me suddenly I realize that I’m Singing it out loud. Here is a grown woman carrying two small snakes, humming Jesus loves me and these kids are clamoring to touch the snakes.  In the following years it was much easier for me to assist with this program. Am I still afraid of snakes yes only now I am more educated.

The second time I faced my fear was of course when my husband passed away. I had lived with my parents for 24 years, I had lived with him for 18 1/2 years and at the age of 43,for the first time in my life,  I lived alone. Of course I was scared not of residing by myself. But I’m facing life on my own. The only thing I could see was dark. The bleakness encompassed me. This was probably the lowest point in my life.  I learned a lot during that period of my life. I learned that I was much stronger than I ever thought I could be; yet much weaker than I ever knew.

I was actually at the point where I consider taking my own life but thankfully someone reach through the darkness and allowed me to realize that someone cared for me.

And this brings me to the third  on this post. I remember when I realized that I had fallen in love for the second time in my life. It scared the crap out of me. I knew I had to tell him and I wasn’t sure how he would respond. Fear of rejection is a vicious animal. For two days I didn’t eat or sleep. I was miserable. I wanted so much to tell him how I felt and in my heart of hearts I wanted to him to respond in kind. So the next time  I saw him,  I just blurted, out with ugly crying how I felt about him. I figured once I had told him that he would never speak to me again. Remember I was the fat girl in school that no one wanted to date. We expect what we have experienced in the past. I am happy to say that five years later  he is still talking to me and he has a major influence in my life.

The last point I wish to speak on is when I decided to change jobs at the age of 48. I  had struggled to create something that should’ve been it’s own entity but others wanted to change it and make it fit into their limited  vision. Our vision for this project was much broader than what they saw.  I began to question my own sanity at beating my head over a wall just to see if it would still hurt. Finally giving up I reached out and found a new career. This change completely turned my life topsy-turvy but in the process began to gain I realization  of who I am.

So whatever  you are facing at this moment know that you were strong enough to handle it!!

Losing myself for a while… in a good way….

673F9D4D-8DD2-4973-B437-49A162D13F25For  several years I have been unable to sit and read an entire book. Being an avid reader my entire life, I found this somewhat disturbing. I have always been able to escape reality through the words of others, painting a masterpiece  in my brain as to the words I was reading on the page. Inspired, so much so,that I work on my own book from time to time. Will it ever be published? I have no idea but it is a goal to for which to strive.

Yesterday, I picked up a book designed with teen steampunk distopian readers in mind. The name of the book is The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis.  The first of his clockwork dark trilogy.

I was fortunate enough to get to meet this author at a workshop a few years back in my former life as a youth services librarian. He autographed the books for me. It was pretty cool to meet someone who actually had done what I would  like to do.

Yesterday, I read his words for several hours. I will admit I am a slow reader but I take in every word allowing to add touches with the finest of paint brushes to the painting I am creating in my brain.

The fact that it is a steampunk novel is adding to my reading enjoyment.

As I read the words on the page I could see the lavish train in which the book starts. I could see the dirty children who were being relocated on this particular orphan train.

I saw faces of people who were not  the same as I that he met along the way and I felt the pain as he struggles to find where he is supposed to be in his life.

I felt the pull of the lodestone his father gave him guiding him from adventure to adventure.

For only the second time in six years I was anxious to get back to my easy chair and disappear into the pages of the mode of escape.

Thank you Mr. Bemis. For taking time out of your busy schedule to spend it with a would be writer and for the words that allow me to disappear for a while.


New Years Eve and I partied Like A Rockstar

It is 10:00 pm and I am writing this from my bed.

New Years Eve didn’t turn out like I would have wished. My wish would have been to spend the last day of the year with him. It didn’t happen, I spent my day alone.

I wasn’t bored though. I did my workout. Learning some great new moves that might come in handy someday.

I read for a while. I wrote for a while. I played a few games on my phone. Cleaned a little. Did a test fuse on a new kind of glass, that was a huge disappointment. At 9:00 my local creeper sent a message wishing me a happy new year. Telling me I am sweet and he thinks of me often…..ummm no!

I did another workout with my exercise ball to work on my midsection. I did my balance exercises.

Now, I lay here looking at the red LED lights along the ceiling. I will allow myself to drift off in beautiful restful sleep, knowing that although I was alone, I had a fun day.


Maybe I should have listened sooner…..

I haven’t named this post because I may ramble but… rest assured I’ll get there.

Three weeks ago I found out I had some health issues, one recurring one and one new one. Diabetes the former, hypothyroidism the latter.

I was diagoned with diabetes several years ago but after dropping 135 pounds simply because I walked just so I wouldn’t have to come home, my blood sugars would drop on medication.

Fast forward six years and a begrudged trip to the doctor forced upon me by  my insurance company, I walked away with three medications.

Now if you know anything about diabetes you understand what I say when my A1C was 13. Scared me straight.

Food was my drug of choice. I ate during social gatherings, when stressed, when bored.

Leaving a very active job for one where I worked twelve hours at night, I thought it was my schedule.

My person, realizing that something was wrong would attempt to talk to me about it and I would just shrug it off. I should apologize for that. He cares for me and had my best interest at heart, I however am somewhat stubborn.

My energy level was a zero. I would work and sleep. We would go and do something and I would come home and sleep.

I was leaving things unfinished or completely undone. I was ina fog. I wasn’t even able to fully enjoy the things I loved.

My attitude was awful. Thankfully, those that love me stuck by me. I couldn’t even write about it in my journal.  I was existing simple because my body was working so hard.

I let my house get cluttered up. I would work on something, leave it laying and pile things on top of it.

More squiggly lines to indicate a three week jump, I am feeling better. Tonight, I came home and continued the cleaning I started last night. I was sorting through a chair full of papers and  used the time to bounce in my exercise ball. I’m such a little multitasker.

I am feeding my body what it needs not what I thought it wanted.

Maybe I should have listened sooner. I just found the title for this post.


The things I Do For Me…..

I have many hobbies. Hobbies, you know those things that you do for enjoyment.

I was going through some paintings I had played with a while back. I had actually forgotten about them. They are abstract. It is just me playing. I liked them a lot. One I am going to hang in my workroom, apparently I am not accomplished enough to call my work space a studio. So, I call it my workroom.

I paint, I read, I write,  I take photos, I try new things, I fail, I try again. Nobody ever gets to see these. It is not their hobby. It is mine. I do these things for my soul.

I don’t need someone judging it by their standard. I simply need to do it to be doing. You won’t ever see any of my work hanging in a museum. You won’t find my writings on the shelves of your favorite bookstore.

It is the pain, joy, flights of fancy and all the other things inside me; done by me and for me.



I need to be in a place of comfort. If that be a space, a relationship, clothing and shoes, hobbies, when I sleep,  all things.

Now having said that, I do a lot of activities in the confines of my home. I dress for comfort. When I am working in my work room, honestly it is very scant. I am there in usually a tee shirt, underwear and my apron.

When I am writing, it kind of depends on what I am writing. I am trying to be tactful here so I am not going to go into much detail. Let’s just say I dress for the part.

It is part of my creative process. I need to feel what it would feel like to actually feel the part that I am writing about. It is something that makes me feel ummmm, desirable which is good when I am writing about my desires.

When I am making jewelry, I don’t worry about how I look, I wear the afore mention workroom clothing. When I am trying to promote my product, I want to look like a business woman. When I am photographing an event, I dress differently than when I am doing nature photography. When I am hiking different clothing and shoes. When I go to work the uniform. To church, dresses or skirts.

I just want to feel comfortable in what I wear, how may hair looks; currently, it has blue highlights. I have mermaid hair.

I don’t wear any of this for anyone else. I change my hair, put on makeup, dress as I wish because it makes me feel good. When I feel good, apparently it is obvious. People notice and I’m not looking to get noticed. I was actually told the other day by someone that they were watching me. Not sure what they meant by it, didn’t ask. I don’t really care anymore who is looking or watching. I am gonna do me. Blue hair and all.