Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

Forty years ago when I was a very young artist, I moved into a 5000 square foot loft with my boyfriend. The space was completely raw, with no heat, no hot water and no electricity, but tons of matted dust in the exposed rafters of that old felt factory. Tons of dust that constantly rained down along with globs of knotted thread, pins and needles.

So we built a scaffold and spent the next 4 months 10 feet in the air scrapping the filth and flaking paint with a six inch scraper. My hair was wrapped in a scarf, but I don’t remember wearing goggles, let alone a mask or air filter. It was the most gross, exhausting, agonizing work I have ever done. I was completely miserable, and as it turns out, pregnant.

Only one thing got me through that ordeal — Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman” on the radio. I think it was number one, because they played it constantly. She saved my sanity and made me feel powerful and proud of my efforts. “If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong. I am invincible.”

I Am Woman

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can face anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman

I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman 

Songwriters
BURTON, RAY / REDDY, HELEN

* ***

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus