Phenomenal Woman

women_psI was in my cousins wedding this past weekend, and so spent the whole day engaged in girly things like make up and fancy dresses and hair and champagne. And in spending the day around women from all different walks of life, it became apparent that we as a gender are very hard on ourselves.

As women, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. Not in a conceited or arrogant way, but let’s admit, sometime it’s hard to be a girl. We get mocked for our emotions, laughed at for our vulnerability. We constantly question our worth and beauty – comparing ourselves to others who are asking themselves the same questions. We think, if only I lost those 10lbs, or had longer hair, or bigger eyes, then I’d be happy. But would we?

Let’s admit to ourselves this one thing; we are beautiful creatures. We create and nurture, we care and love with abandon, we defend and attack those we love with ferocity. I think we need to allow ourselves a little room to breathe. To be. To enjoy who we are and what we are. And so, in that vein, enjoy this beautiful poem by Maya Angelou about a phenomenal woman.

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

– Maya Angelou

Poetry Feature: W. B. Yeats

poetry 1I’ve never understood poetry very well, nor been able to write it. Recently however, I’ve been pushing myself to read more and more of it and to explore great past poets who contributed to the beauty and richness of poetic literature. And so, darling readers, you’re coming with me! This will be a new section of the blog where I highlight poems that touched me, and that I think will touch you too. Let’s revel in the beauty and mystery together, shall we?

xo. Brie

A Man Young And Old: I. First Love

Though nurtured like the sailing moon
In beauty’s murderous brood,
She walked awhile and blushed awhile
And on my pathway stood
Until I thought her body bore
A heart of flesh and blood.

But since I laid a hand thereon
And found a heart of stone
I have attempted many things
And not a thing is done,
For every hand is lunatic
That travels on the moon.

She smiled and that transfigured me
And left me but a lout,
Maundering here, and maundering there,
Emptier of thought
Than the heavenly circuit of its stars
When the moon sails out.

Like the moon her kindness is,
If kindness I may call
What no comprehension in’t,
But is the same for all
As though my sorrow were a scene
Upon a pointed wall

So like a bit of stone I lie,
Under a broken tree
I could recover if I shreiked
My heart’s agony
To passing bird, but I am dumb
From human dignity

A mermaid found a swimming lad
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown

– William Butler Yeats

Putting it in Perspective

KellySometimes days in the office are rough. The clock crawls by, the coffee runs out, and the computer monitors give me a headache. But on those days I try to remember that my job is to make life better for little girls like Kelly, pictured above, who lives in abject poverty in Nicaragua. Remembering that what I do directly affects this little girl and thousands like her keeps me going.

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

xo. Brie

Waverley Cemetery at Bondi Beach

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cemetary_no-headstone_ps While we were in Bondi Beach doing the walk along the cliffs, we stumbled upon the Waverly Cemetery. I was immediately captivated by the stoic headstones and angels, their quiet stillness contrasting with the churning waves below, and I had to go have a look around.
cemetary_water_ps The Waverley Cemetery was established in 1875, when the land was purchased, and the first internment took place on the afternoon of August 4th, 1877. Today there are over 6,000 graves sites stretching over 4 acres; many of the graves are over a hundred years old.
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I have an odd fascination with cemeteries. It’s nothing morbid, but more that it’s just so strange to walk among the dead. To think that each gravestone tells a story – each person had a family and loved ones who cared for them, celebrating their life and mourning their loss.
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“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead that any we leave behind.”

– C.S. Lewis

Live life to the fullest, lovelies.

xo. Brie