The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Say Yes

posted by Donna Henes

 Say Yes
 By Andrea Gibson

 when two violins are placed in a room
 if a chord on one violin is struck  
 the other violin will sound the note  
 if this is your definition of hope
 this is for you  
 the ones who know how powerful we are  
 who know we can sound the music in the people around us  
 simply by playing our own strings  
for the ones who sing life into broken wings
open their chests and offer their breath  
as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving  
 spare those intent on proving god is dead  
 for you when your fingers are red
 from clutching your heart
 so it will beat faster 
for the time you mastered  the art of giving yourself
for the sake of someone else   
for the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies
and lift the truth so high the steeples bow to the sky
this is for you

this is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom
who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world
has slapped them in the face with its lack of light 
for the mothers who feed their children first
and thirst for nothing when they’re full 
this is for women
and for the men who taught me only women bleed with the moon
but there are men who cry when women bleed
men who bleed from women’s wounds
and this is for that moon 
on the nights she seems hung by a noose
for the people who cut her loose
and for the people still waiting for the rope to burn
about to learn they have scissors in their hands 

this is for the man who showed me
the hardest thing about having nothing
is having nothing to give
who said the only reason to live is to give ourselves away
so this is for the day we’ll quit our jobs and work for something real 
we’ll feel for sunshine in the shadows
look for sunrays in the shade
this is for the people who rattle the cage that slave wage built
and for the ones who didn’t know the filth until tonight
but right now are building songs that sound something like 
people turning their porch lights on and calling the homeless back home

this is for all the shit we own
and for the day we’ll learn how much we have
when we learn to give that shit away
this is for doubt becoming faith
for falling from grace and climbing back up
for trading our silver platters for something that matters
like the gold that shines from our hands when we hold each other
this is for the grandmother who walked a thousand miles on broken glass
to find that single patch of grass to plant a family tree
where fruit would grow to laugh
for the ones who know the math of war
has always been subtraction
so they live like an action of addition
for you when you give like every star is wishing on you
and for the poeple still wishing on stars
this is for you too

this is for the times you went through hell so someone
else wouldn’t have to
for the time taught a 14 year old girl she was powerful
this is for the time you taught a 14 year old boy he was beautiful
for the radical anarchist asking a republican to dance
cause what’s the chance of everyone moving from right to left
if the only moves they see are on NBC and CBS
this is for the no becoming yes
for scars becoming breath
for saying i love to to people who will never say it to us
for scraping away the rust and remembering how to shine
for the dime you gave away when you didn’t have a penny
for the many beautiful things we do
for every some we’ve ever sung
for refusing to believe in miracles
because miracles are the impossible coming true
and everything is possible
this is for the possibility that guides us
and for the possibilities still waiting to sing
and spread their wings inside us
because tonight saturn is on his knees
proposing with all his ten thousand rings
that whatever song we’ve been singing we sing even more
the world needs us right now more than it ever has before
pull all your strings
play every chord
if you’re writing letters to the prisoners
start tearing down the bards
if you’re handing out flashlights in the dark
start hanging out stars
never go a second hushing the percussion of your heart
play loud
play like you know the clouds have left too many people cold and broken
and you’re their last chance for sun
play like there’s no hoping brighter days will come
play like the apocalypse is only 4…3…2
but you have a drum in your chest that could save us
you have a song like a breath that could raise us
like the sunrise into a dark sky that cries to be blue
play like you know we won’t survive if you don’t
but will if you do
play like saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that we give every single breat
this is for saying – yes
this is for saying – yes

Blessings for the Decade of Being All That We Can Be!

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

Queen Mama Donna offers 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.


Entertaining A New Year

posted by Donna Henes

This fall I went to the 60th birthday party of a very old and dear friend. Due to budget constraints, the venue was the back room of a very funky bar. The refreshments consisted of pitchers of beer and sangria and scant little fried things. All in all, perfect for a college bash, but a bit strange for a room full of midlife women. Or so it seemed at first.

The birthday Queen specified no gifts, but requested a song, instead. And her adoring guests complied. They brought songs alright, complete with costumes and creative props. The show was fabulous — touching and hilarious. And there was dancing. Lots of dancing. It was a really great celebration, rich in all the right components. I can’t remember having so much simple down home fun at a party in a long time.

After all, how many poo-poo foodie parties can you stand? You know the kind I mean. “This cheese is so special, only two cows in the whole world make it! And it only costs $46. a quarter of a pound.” Pulease.

One of my New Year resolutions is to entertain more this year. Not big parties, but intimate dinners with six or eight people who can be depended upon for fascinating conversation and true communion. I am craving old-fashioned one-pot suppers — soups, stews, casseroles, salads. Good bread. Good wine. Good talk. Good quality time.
I remember my mother talking about the depression. It dashed her plans to go to college. Instead, she had to work in a fruit store. But she never complained about that. (Don’t get me wrong, my mother was a world class complainer, but she never complained about the Great Depression.) She always said about those years, “People stuck together then, and helped each other.” And, “We knew how to have fun.”

With this New Year we enter a new era. The main challenge that we will face in these uncertain times is not the economy. Nor is it the unnerving and seemingly psychotic political scenarios being played out all around the world. Not to mention the grief that they create.

Our challenge is to stay in our center, come what may. Our challenge is to breathe in the energy of the life force and to exhale respect, reverence and awe. Our challenge is to be unshakeable in our faith. To share our love. And to shine our spiritual light.

This year may we discover and embrace our own purpose, passion and power. May we accept our responsibility and our rule. May we take our ideas and our skills and use them to create a viable, safe, sustainable and sane world for us all.

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

Queen Mama Donna offers 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.

Let The Resolutions Begin

posted by Donna Henes

Let The Resolutions Begin
By Midlife Crisis in Process  The thoughts and ramblings of a middle age woman who is beginning to realize life requires you to make tough choices that don’t always bring happiness.
Let me start by saying right off the bat that I love resolutions. I love the idea of starting over. A change in direction. A fresh start. The chance to redeem yourself or save yourself, generally, from yourself in most cases. It is no different for me.

I enjoy taking a moment to think about how I want life to be in the future — and am starting to understand that I can control that future — I don’t have to simply accept what live offers. I have a right and a responsibility to make this life the best it can be. Better yet, I’m reaching the stage in life when I can address my wants from life and not just my needs. I am fortunate in this way. I have lived long enough to have this opportunity. I am doubly blessed to be in a financial position where I can afford to have some of the things I want as well. I must not squander this time.

All that being said, I find myself restless with the way I live. Tired of the monotony. Work, school, sleep, repeat. Don’t think I’m quitting work or school. And heaven knows I can not afford to lose more sleep than I already do. But there has to be more to life than what I’ve chosen to take from it. Please note the phrasing of that sentence. I’m not blaming the world, I accept responsibility.

So there are going to be some changes in 2011 for me. I hope to detail them here in my blog more as a means to hold myself accountable rather than to profess any ability to implement change in my readers’ lives. Goodness! Let’s see if I implement change in my own life first! 

My first resolution is to declutter my life. I’ll start first with the obvious — the overwhelming accumulation of things that I am holding on to yet not using. Things I’m afraid to let go of because I might need it some day. Things I keep because they remind me of when I was young and full of promise and possibility. That part is difficult. The acknowledgement that I didn’t grow to be the person I thought I would be. That at times I took the easy road, the path of least resistance.  It’s time to face those facts and forgive myself for them. I can’t undo the past. But I can learn from it. I need to accept that my past is a part of who I am now. But my future is in my control.

The first step: I will clean out closets and drawers. I will get rid of things I haven’t worn for a few years. And in the meantime, there are people those clothes could help. I have nice things that just aren’t my style or size anymore, but are professional in nature. I will donate them to an agency that gives interview clothes to women rather than send them over to Goodwill.

The second step is to stop buying. I don’t need new shoes. I don’t need any more clothes. Perhaps you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule? You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. You eat the same 20% of foods 80% of the time. Variety may be the spice of life, but people tend to chose comfort over spice time and time again.

There are places I will need to spend money. I will have to get a new dress and possibly shoes for my daughter’s wedding this summer. And I am considering giving myself permission to spoil myself when items that I wouldn’t normally buy — like the monthly lunches I’ve been having with my best friend from high school; the luxury of using the parking garage at college; and perhaps giving myself a trip to a coffee place once in a while to enjoy a latte and maybe even a magazine. Some down time away from the computer and the books.

This is just the start. 

I’m excited for 2011. I think the best of life is just ahead.

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

Queen Mama Donna offers 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.

What Is Right With You?

posted by Donna Henes

What Is Right With You?
By Kim Mailhot, NH
So my amazing friend, Paula, from Little Scraps of Magic, is participating in the Reverb10 writing prompt challenge to examine your 2010 and to set intentions and focus for the New 2011 year to come.

Paula’s response was: “What Are 11 Things Your life Doesn’t Need In 2011?”

She listed 11 dreaded things that she wanted to be rid of in 2011. You know, all those things that we criticize ourselves about, that make us feel not good enough or like we are “imperfect” human beings that need to be fixed in order to be good, worthy, perfect ?

As I read Paula’s list, I saw many of the same or similar things that I wanted to be rid of in my own life. By the end of the list, like Paula, I was feeling the need to sigh deeply and heavily about all those things that are “wrong” with me and that I better hurry up at “fix” before it’s too late!

Then this other voice within me, the Voice of all Things Right With Me, cried out:

“Screw this list! You have spent enough of your 45 years focused on what is wrong with you! Has that “fixed” it all for you? How about focusing on what is Right with you instead? I promise, that is the key to feeling better about your life, Beautiful One! That is the key to Loving all that is You!”

I grabbed hold of what that sweet voice said and I wrote this response to Paula…

and to my Self…

and maybe to you…

“You are not really far behind. You are exactly where you are meant to be.

Eleven things your life doesn’t need? All of us can think of 11 or a few dozen things that we can do better at or want to rid ourselves of! Wanting to improve and be a better person is a natural part of living here on this chaotic planet. And yes, facing some of those boogiemen is a good thing too.

But I also see how doing this list brought you into deep, deep sighs…

How about deciding that the number 1 thing that you can be without in 2011 is focusing on what is wrong with you instead of what is right? I am truly, truly coming to believe that focusing on what is right with us, what brings joy and mindful living to us is the key to solving even those dreaded “wrong” things!

And guess what, My Lovely, Inspiring, Creative Friend? On the last day of your life, there will still be some of those 11 icky things on the list of what is wrong. Does that mean you will not have lead a beautiful, rich, deeply loving life? I think not!

This was a lot of deep thinking so early on a Tuesday morning for me. But very, very welcome. Every word I wrote here could be a letter to myself too, Miss Paula (Insert your name here).

So here is Kim’s Prompt for the day, for you and for me:
What is right with you? Discuss, explore and celebrate!  

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

Queen Mama Donna offers 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.


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