In The Woods

Now it is up to me to take the first step myself–

to listen to the child in me.

Alice Miller


This Powerful Goddess celebrates her first birthday as mother to herself, recently having lost the woman whose love has been a refuge since giving birth to her.  It is a dark and tender time nursing her grief, remembering her mother’s comforting free spirit, so far ahead of her generation in providing a literal haven for women whose life choices defied the simplistic black and white.

She feels bereft in the woods without the familiar guiding hand that had always held hers.  The hand that had given her a firm, gentle push through the rough brambles, the muddy patches, through the forks in the road.  Now  it’s a strain to hear her mother’s voice when she wonders “Where do I go? How do I go on?”

Yet she does.

She ventures forth with small, hesitant steps at first, her spine eventually straightens, finding the strength to keep on.  She is her mother’s daughter after all.  Her mother’s courage lives within her forever, making sure she continues to keep her sights always true to her own North.

What is a woman’s life after all if not to serve as map and compass for other women to find and understand themselves?

To complete the Alice Miller quote from the top of this page:

…and this meant exposing myself

to all the pain once inflicted on her,

which she had had to bear all alone,

without witnesses, without words,

without hope of ever being understood.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share who has lent you strength to keep going when you couldn’t.






© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gina bonati
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 22:13:15

    I wrote this poem in december, the month my mother died and I in grief and anger stopped my thoughts for this poem to my heart of rage and grief and madness and confusion.


    I did not ask to be her child
    Yet there I was, Her’s
    To exact her insanity on.
    And at the time
    She died I loved
    Her, loved her loved her.

    More than Bean, Macho, Lucita and all
    The little other
    Animals (Mom?).
    More even than dancing.

    I would have stopped
    For Five
    Years more listening to her

    – gina bonati


  2. Mountain
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 08:14:50

    When I first read this weeks blog; I thought, what can I say? I’m not a woman and can’t feel exactly the same way. But then I thought about the question itself. Then an answer came to me, she has found that we find strength within ourselves (woman or man) and go on living because that is what our loved ones would expect. It’s part of life.

    A lovely Goddess, she adds beauty to the woods and stands as solid as the rock on which she poses.



  3. Mountain
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 21:21:27

    As I read your poem Gina, I thought about what strength it takes to share such personal thoughts not only with yourself but with us too. The emotional strength of a Goddess, in my opinion is more stabling than the physical strength of a man. When it comes to the strength of heart I look to Goddesses for the warmth to the soul that has given me strength during the times I needed it.

    Thank you Gina, for sharing!



    • gina bonati
      Jan 28, 2014 @ 23:03:38

      here is another. I wrote this one years ago when my mom was very much alive and I was adoring her for her unusual way of being in the world:

      The way her eyes
      light up
      when she says,
      Cuba Libre;
      -and I know it’s not the rum
      that makes her gleam
      but the lemon.


      • Sharon Birke
        Jan 29, 2014 @ 00:15:14

        Unusual women are the most memorable! How lucky to have had a mother like that, Gina. And thanks so much for your loving note, Mountain!

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