Mom & Me & Mom


God made Adam first

because He didn’t want any advice

from Eve on how to make Adam.

Anonymous (who is usually a woman)



To celebrate Women’s HERstory month and International Women’s Day, I wish to express my gratitude to the village of women who blessed my life with a wide range of talents, courage, wisdom, laughter and relentless optimism. I think back on their constant love and generosity through pain and difficulty reading Maya Angelou’s autobiography, Mom & Me & Mom:

My mother’s gifts of courage to me were both large and small. The latter are woven so subtly into the fabric of my psyche that I can hardly distinguish where she stops and I begin. The large lessons are highlighted in my memory like Technicolor stars in a midnight sky. Her love and support encouraged me to dare to live my life with pizzazz, doing what I never knew I was capable of as a black woman: a conducturette, singer, dancer, broadway performer, poet, screenplay writer, author, movie director, teacher, speaker, etc.

I had thought that I was a writer who could teach. I found to my surprise that I was actually a teacher who could write. One day, an invitation to be a distinguished visiting professor at England’s University of Exeter stunned and thrilled me. I thanked the administration but said I couldn’t leave my mother who was gravely ill. When she heard I had rejected the invitation, she whispered “Go. Show them you spell your name W-O-M-A-N. I’ll be here when you get back!”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share the story of your favorite woman.







Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a two hour photo shoot of up to three people:

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman



Feminine Mystique in History

I have a brain and a uterus

and I use both.

Patricia Schroeder

Old World Glamour Portraits by Sharon Birke

“I’m the best cook and baker.  I love to clean the kitchen and do the laundry.  My husband will be so lucky!”  My daughter beams.  I squelch the “Yikes!” I feel inside and smooth the wrinkle between my eyebrows.  My mom once sported a chic bob with a thriving banking career that helped send 5 children to college.  Now she looks like a farmer’s wife with hair as long as the skirt ordained by the fundamentalist religion my dad has adopted since they retired.   How innumerable have a woman’s choices grown since the days of illiteracy and candlelight?   How few do we consider possible for ourselves anyway?  And how strong is our need to tell others what we believe is right for them?  All for their own good, of course!

To bring to a close Women’s History Month, I thought I’d pick up on a conversation Betty Friedan started half a century ago in her book “The Feminine Mystique”–which remains relevant despite certain biases in perspective.  Staying home has become an option even for men.  Women can choose to be single, childless, work, pay someone to  have or raise her kids.  We may make our own money yet our financial independence remains hostage to the sway of media and commerce that thrive on feeding our fears and insecurities.  As for personal fulfillment, who really wants to be that responsible?  It’s far more convenient to blame someone or something else for the choices we (don’t) make.  So the mystery continues…

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to give a big hug to the teacher or advocate who ignited your power to choose and write your own history.

Old World Glamour Portraits by Sharon Birke



Old World Glamour Portraits by Sharon Birke


Corset Glamour Portraits by Sharon Birke

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Money and Women by Sharon Birke


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