A Woman’s Spirit

The dichotomy of a woman’s spirit:
In me, there is contradiction lurking—

Behind the boxes marked FORMER SELVES,
The elusive someday, Someday I will..

A shy and abject vulnerability, my internal discord,
Obscured by apprehension manufactured in excess

This day, yesterday, and tomorrows too,
Pile up in disarray, collecting weight,
SOMEDAY slips between the past and the
Box marked ALMOST.

In me, there is indomitable spirit, a gritty
Resolve unparalleled, a near perfect fearlessness—

Visible in my stride, the SWINGING OF MY HIPS,
The authentic life, Everyday I do..

My shy and abject vulnerability, my internal discord,
Obliterated without thought, effortlessly through action

Reckless abandonment of convention
Creative invention, defining moments
SPENT frivolously in passionate pursuits
Valiantly with no room for doubt, NEVER

In me, there is naïve bravery and sincere humility
Rattling about, wisps of consciousness vital for flight—

Determination and desire, THRIVING, EVEN IN DOUBT,
CONTRIDICTIONS, my pieces unite
To live this authentic life, Every time without fail

My shy and abject vulnerability, my internal discord,
I lay down with respect, to fulfill passionate pursuits

The conflicted halves of the whole
In accord, weld a bond
Between the shadows and beams of light
Uniting the dichotomy of a woman’s spirit


A WOMAN, a man would say, is a puzzle. She confounds. She’s nonsensical. In the silence of her own heart, she’d agree. Rarely does she admit she’s bewildering, even to herself, she battles her contradictions.

A WOMAN knows her pieces make up the whole. Each piece is necessary for her dreams to take flight, each in service to the purpose.

Doubt pushes her to try harder. Innocence and bravery drive her to pursue relentlessly what she catches sight of in a cloud of déjà vu. Humility and vulnerability stand her still.

She sprints, she stutters, and she questions her determination and courage, now obscured by doubt. On the brink of unraveling her hope lost, her aspirations unfold, piece by piece, until they bloom in the afternoon light.

Her quest once fraught with disappointment and false starts is now a story from the past, a lesson learned, a memory, an achievement, pieces of her authentic life she may one day document in verse, a story, or a letter for her children to find when she is dust in the wind.


How do you unite the conflicted pieces of your spirit?



I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

39 thoughts on “A Woman’s Spirit

    • Kelly – hope your weekend is fun. You’re right we need all of our parts to do what we do. I think about how naive I was when I started writing my first story. I sat down and wrote and wrote. It never occurred to me to be scared or doubt myself that came later when I decided I need to go to school. Oh well.

  1. I think I take more of an acceptance approach. This for me is part of the mystery of womanhood, the indomitable spirit mixed with the crying child. I enjoyed this post greatly, the entire piece is brilliant.
    Elizabeth Young recently posted….Haworth ChurchMy Profile

    • Elizabeth.. we all have our own way of weaving our respective parts together. And yes, we are a mixture of extremes, scary I am sure. And thank you. I really struggled with this piece and plan to pick it up again in a couple weeks once the pain of the struggle is gone and my eyes are fresh.

    • K- Like you an your poetry, you do the same my dear. I think dabbling in poetry makes the novelist in me work harder for concise and descriptive writing. I am ready the The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (not a genre I write, but is language is beautiful and is he concise). It’s a read worth the investment for my own writing, and the story is great.

    • Martha, I enjoy reading your words, they always make me ponder and revisit my own conflicted relationship with God. Thanks much for your words, they are appreciated, always.

      • Monica and Bev – I confess I read Bev’s comment over and over and again on the train home yesterday and came up with the idea to write a series about us gals..

    • Bev – I don’t know what to say, your comment left me frozen in thought. When I am writing I don’t think about things like that or that I am writing about womanhood. I generally have something in my head. In this case, it was coming to terms with my reaction to the agent process. I am fearless but also stopped dead in my tracks. The poem was me trying to weave the pieces of me back together because without all of them I am not whole. I think this is the same for most women, but I am only guessing.

    • Monica, I do enjoy exploring the woman in all of us through verse. We’re complex. I tried writing the poem in 3rd person but it didn’t work. I am inspired by the idea of creating a series of poems about us (women). Something to ponder.

  2. A WOMAN knows her pieces make up the whole***

    Ahhh, that’s the rub.

    I just heard a great quote by Jane Fonda: “We are not meant to be perfect; we are meant to be whole.”

    For me, this will take a lifetime, cuz there are segments & pieces scattered all over the place…

    I need to find them!

    Great Post, B. Xxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted….Inside The RainMy Profile

    • Kim – everyday that you write you get closer and you might be surprised to find that little by little you are piece yourself back together. It’s there in your words. You’re strong than you know. As always, thanks for you continue support I appreciate it beyond words.

  3. Brenda, your poem is a priceless gem, shining brightly. A smile on the lips and in the hearts of many women who think like you but can’t express themselves so eloquently. Adore your post and am trying to find my many scattered pieces, some lost forever, some trampled underfoot, some too ugly to preserve.
    sulekha recently posted….SplinteredMy Profile

    • Sulekha – I am flattered by your response. I do believe we lose pieces of ourselves over the years but they find a way back and reaffix themselves along the way. Again, we are a contradiction, good and bad, ugly and pretty, all of those parts make us whole, maybe slightly flawed and cracked, but still …

    • My pleasure, Jennifer. We all need a little reminder of inner beauty, strength, and abilities. We do get scattered, which is annoying but sometimes on the way back to being put together we make discoveries.

  4. I love your poem, very strong. The question you pose is a hard one to answer but to acknowledge the dichotomy is a start. So many of us are in denial. I think part of it is the pressures of society conflicting with who we truly are as human beings.

    • Thanks, Adriene. After a year of being terrified to declare I write poetry I’ve laid that nonsensical fear to rest. Art is art. We are indeed conflicted. I honestly hadn’t thought about the effects of society on us in quite that way – but you might have a point. It’s inspired my next post.

  5. Brenda, indeed, the many parts that make up the whole of our womanhood should be embraced by us; the good, the bad, the in between. They define us. They represent our essence; our very being. I want every little piece that is me. Lately I’ve been more fixated on accepting myself without reservation; without judgement. I want to believe that as women, we have the courage and the bravery to do this. We are fearless. We are strong. But we are also constantly evolving. I sense this evolution in this poem. You are not static. You are forever changing and yet you remain true to your essence. And that’s the way it should be, sister. Powerful words, Ms. Brenda. :)
    Bella recently posted….Who’s ready to stop the insanity?My Profile

    • Thanks, Mike, especially for reading. It’s the inside thought of women (not just me) and place few of us travel through. I commend you for working through the words.

  6. I love Woman: “she battles her contradictions”. Gosh, this is good … I can’t wait to read your series! I don’t think I’ve learned to fully unite the conflicted, but I sometimes blend them together through humour. Then maybe again, it was not done in an effort to unite the pieces but just cover them up. Who knows?
    I’ll leave you with a couple of tidbits I picked up at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop this past weekend (so much fun!):
    “Chaos and imperfection are hilarious and acceptable” – Dr Nancy Berk (and how true is that of women?)
    “Nerve …vulnerability …humanity” Anna Lefler on igniting your ‘voice’.
    Astra recently posted….Ceasefire!!My Profile

    • Astra – that must have been a blast. I can’t imagine getting through the workshop without laughing constantly. I agree completely with Dr. Berk’s words. We are all this and more, as well as our own worst enemies at times. The more I write the more I learn, especially when I try to put emotions into poems.

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  8. Pj

    I stand in awe. But then, I lie. I actually sit on the couch – but still in awe. Beautiful, honest, insightful. Thank you.

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