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 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 beginning 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 the 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 people 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 you 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 NBC and CBS
this is for the no becoming yes  
for scars becoming breath
for saying i love you 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 song 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  
cause tonight saturn is on his knees  
proposing with all of 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 bars  
if you’re handing out flashlights in the dark  
start handing 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 time for 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 we will if you do
play like saturn is on his knees
proposing with all of his ten thousand rings
that we give every single breath
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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com

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.

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs080/1101600634271/archive/1103877351136.html

What Is Right With You ????

posted by Donna Henes

What Is Right With You ????
By Kim Mailhot, NH
Queen of Arts

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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™ 

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.

 

Clean Sweep

posted by Donna Henes

Dear Queen Mama Donna,

This has been the year from hell. I feel used, abused, and grimy. My entire life has gotten out of control. In my depression I have even let my normally orderly house go. My family is disgusted. What symbolic act can I do at New Year that would help to make me feel like I can make a clean start?
- A Mess in Michigan

Dear Ms. Mess,    
As we near the New Year, our thoughts turn to new beginnings, new possibilities, new hope. This fragile interval which separates one year from the next is pregnant with potential. We find ourselves taking time out of time to evaluate our past experiences and actions and to prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for our future. Our reflections and resolutions at this transition period of the great turning of the annual wheel are critical, for they create the ambient atmosphere and attitude for the entire year to come.

A new year represents another chance, a fresh start, a clean slate, and so we embark upon the shift as on a dangerous journey, freshly bathed and outfitted, full of purpose, fingers crossed in blessing. People enjoy elaborate toilettes; bodies washed, dressed, groomed, combed until they are thoroughly cleansed — often internally as well through fasting. On New Year in Bengal, pilgrims bathe in the River Ganges. The Cherokee spend the eve of the New Year in vigil on the banks of a river. At dawn they immerse themselves seven times, emerging purified and new like the year.

In addition to purifying our person, special care has always been taken to clean and maintain the temples, churches, synagogues, cemeteries, groves, and shrines, in which prayers for the propitious New Year are made. By obvious extension, this New Year’s urge to purge includes our home environments, where the most intimate and ordinary prayers of daily life are uttered. If a man’s home is his castle, surely it is a woman’s shrine.

Cleaning house to make ready for a new year is a universal task, symbolic and reverant as it is practical. Out with the old and in with the new! Death to dirt! Removing the dust and detritus accumulated during the previous year ensures the ridding of a dwelling and its occupants of the shortcomings and disappointments delivered during that time as well. Domestic renovation signifies spiritual and social renewal.

All over the world, houses are scrubbed spic and span from top to bottom and yards and walkways are swept spotlessly clean. In old England, New Year’s Day was the annual sweeping of all chimneys. The expression “to make a clean sweep” comes from this New Year’s custom. In Hong Kong, ten days before the New Year, women observe a Day for Sweeping Floors. At this time, an intensive house cleaning is begun in readiness for the New Year. Nothing, no corner, is left untouched. On New Year’s Day Moroccans pour water over themselves, their animals, the floors and walls of their homes.

Some peoples, like the Incas, like the Creeks, discarded everything, EVERYTHING, used in the past year. In a grand operatic gesture, Italians throw all the household belongings, which they no longer want out of their windows on New Year’s Eve. Everything from used bars of soap to broken sofas is dispatched in this abandon; and every year there are many injuries to hapless revelers on the streets below. In a more tame tradition, symbolic of the same spirit, the Mayans replace all of their domestic articles of everyday use.

In many Native American cultures, in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, hearth fires are extinguished annually and ritually rekindled in a New Year ritual of new fire. In this way, sins and devils are purged in purification ceremonies symbolizing spiritual renewal. Zuni women throw out their live embers, then sprinkle their entire homes with corn meal in a rite called House Cleansing in order to ensure good fortune in child birth in the coming year. During the Iranian New Year celebration of Narooz, wild rue is burned in households because it is believed to drive away all evil and usher in a happy and propitious new year.

So, darling, get out the brooms and the buckets, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Scrub the grime out of your environment and your mentality. The act of cleaning will help you to feel like you are back in control of your life, and an orderly, cheerful house will definitely improve your mood. Light some incense and some candles and invite in some fresh, new energy.
 
Happy New Year to you.

xxQMD

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

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
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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