Rhapsody in Blue

Starting here, what do you want to remember?

How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?

What scent of old wood hovers, what softened

 sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world

 than the breathing respect that you carry

 wherever you go right now? Are you waiting

 for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this

 new glimpse that you found; carry into evening

 all that you want from this day. This interval you spent

 reading or hearing this, keep it for life–

What can anyone give you greater than now,

starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

–William Stafford, “You Reading This, Be Ready”

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

What I Love About Men

For Father’s Day, tips and quips from Rita Rudner, a favorite comedienne who (st)ages with glamour and style:

1. On gift ideas:  If you buy your husband a video camera, for the first few weeks he has it, lock the door when you go to the bathroom. Most of my husband’s early films end with a scream and a flush.

2. On guilt:  When a woman tries on clothing from her closet that feels tight, she will assume she has gained weight. When a man tries something from his closet that feels tight, he will assume the clothing has shrunk.

3. On memory:  Men forget everything, women remember everything. That’s why men need instant replays in sports–They’ve already forgotten what happened.

4.  On diets:  Men who can eat anything they want and not gain weight should do it out of sight of women.

5. When you find yourself wishing he were someone else:  No man is charming all of the time. Even Cary Grant is on record saying he wished he could be Cary Grant.

6. Don’t try to teach men how to do anything in public. They can learn in private.  In public, they have to know.

7. Men are self-confident because they grow up identifying with superheroes. Women have bad self-images because they grow up identifying with Barbie.

8. On movie selections:  Men are less sentimental than women. No man has ever seen the movie THE WAY WE WERE twice, voluntarily.

9. On planning what to do together:  Most men hate to shop. That’s why the men’s department is usually on the first floor of a department store, two inches from the door.

10.  Men hate to lose. I once beat my husband at tennis. I asked him, “Are we going to have sex again?” He said, “Yes, but not with each other.”

11. Don’t take clothing too seriously. I’ve never seen a man walk into a party and say “Oh, my God, get me out of here!  I’m so embarrassed–There’s another man wearing a black tuxedo.”

12.  Accept compliments graciously.  Example: “Mitch, you look great.” Mitch: “Thanks.” On the other side: “Ruth, you look great.” Ruth: “I do? Must be the lighting.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to tell us what you love about your man.

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Sitting With Feeling

When something is bothering me,

I write a song that tells my feelings.

Loretta Lynn

In “I Know I’m In There Somewhere,” Helene G. Brenner, PhD, writes:

Feelings, while not facts, are a highly concentrated form of information with their life-affirming story to tell.  There are no bad feelings–only feelings that get stuck.  And there are no bad thoughts or parts of you–only parts that you have exiled and don’t listen to.  No person or authority in the world can tell you what “should be” going on in your heart, nor do you have to prove, to yourself or to anyone else, that you have a “right” to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.

While American culture adulates people who project an unflaggingly positive, cheerful, “can do” spirit,  mental (and physical) health doesn’t mean being happy all the time.  It’s about being resilient, knowing how to heal and recover from losses and difficulties, being flexible rather than brittle.  To do this, we need to allow feelings of hurt, grief, fear or rage to be listened to, not suppressed:

1. Acknowledge.  Human beings are wired to run from difficult frightening or uncomfortable feelings.  The running can take the form of intellectualizing, minimizing, spacing out, panicking, blowing up or going to pieces. When a feeling is bothering you, notice the sensations you feel in your body and simply sit with them.

2. Being With.   Breathe deeply, step back from what you’re doing and notice what is going on inside you, without judgment.  Name the feeling as accurately as possible, “I’m feeling furious right now.”  Take a full minute to sit with the feeling and the sensations experienced by your body.  Notice, observe and describe the elemental feelings that you didn’t know were there, “It’s a big black hole that feels unseen and unloved.” Don’t impede its flow by thinking about how you can try to change or resolve it.  Just notice what else shows up.

3. Compassion.   Go as close to the bone as you can in telling the exact truth about what you feel.  In identifying your feelings, you free yourself to hear them out and learn about them without becoming them.  When you acknowledge the truth of your feelings, the grip of the past loosens and you begin to open up to possibilities.   In paying attention to what the pure feeling has to tell you, you allow an answer to present itself.

Click on “Leave a Comment” above to share what helps you deal with difficult emotions.

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife and Mother


And Marilyn Monroe Lives On

It’s not so much that I’m always late,

it’s just that everybody else is in such a hurry!

Marilyn Monroe

Goddess Gina Bonati was such a joy to play with–a woman who has witnessed life’s ups and downs yet remains mindful of her blessings and comfortable in her skin.   When I tell her she reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, she admits it’s been a long time since she last heard this compliment.  In her youth, she was often mistaken for the bombshell especially when she dyed her hair blonde!  We laugh as she pretends to smoke her cigarette earrings.

In honor of Marilyn’s birthday, June 1st, let’s dare say “I love you, too!” to the parts of our selves that we numb, hide or kill to be pleasing to others.  What we believe to be unworthy of acceptance and compassion is what needs these the most.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) and tell us how Marilyn touched your life.

PS  A new photo exhibit “Marilyn & Me” by Lawrence Schiller runs until the end of this month in NYC.

© Sharon Birke

Let’s celebrate your life today!

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


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