Befriending the Gargoyle of Destruction

He lies deep within.
A predator.
(Or so it seemed.)

He’s been with me for ages.
Taunting. Clawing. Whispering,
“You haven’t suffered enough yet.
Kill. Die. I hate you.”

Unlike other unfriendly voices within, he scared me too much to pour him that cuppa.
I knew he’d take me over.
Harm friends.
Mame for the maniacal fun of it.

But finally, we arrived at an impasse.
And I gathered every last drop of courage and asked him,
“Who are you? What do you do? What do you want?”

It took a moment to get a response.
For he is from a time before words.
Ancient as cells. Primordial as teeth. Read More…

Phenomenal Woman: A Tribute to Maya Angelou

Curved Diagonals by YanivG, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  YanivG 

My chubby, wobbly thighs carried me to the stage.

They were preceded by my frizzy hair and goody-two-shoes reputation. All I could feel, though, were that desert in my mouth, that sickly butterfly soup churning in my stomach, and the eyes of the entire school upon me. But that day, something greater than all this propelled me forward.

I stepped up to the microphone, knowing the words I was about to say came not from me but from a wellspring of truth somewhere deep in the earth, vast as the cosmos. I had practiced them for weeks, letting them sink into my soul. The words I was about to say had been carried along the backs of woman after woman after woman: a lineage of suffering and pride, hard-won wisdom and effortless grace.

The words I was about to recite were “Phenomenal Woman” by the great poetess, Maya Angelou. Today, she died. But on that day in my sixth grade, Read More…