In moments of despair, my library is where I hide my grief and can transport myself to a place of serenity and quiet contemplation through images of my favourite art works. This allows me the escape to spaces of knowledge that can repair my damaged spirit and guide me to find the timber of my own spiritual pulse. I have been reading Alice Walker and Maya Angelou for so many years. Returning to their verse and prose, or sometimes merely snatching a paragraph or just rubbing my hand on the covers of the books, and in doing so find that it never fails to bring back my spirit of hope and optimism.
Today was one such day where my spirit needed a little help, and a morning talk with my son and a stanza from a poem of Alice Walker brought back the tautness of my own tightrope of life. I know I want to walk this tightrope without faltering, and not fear that there may not be a safety net to catch me if I fall, because the balance that I must keep actually lies within my own grasp, at all times.
So let me share the stanza from Alice Walker's poem with you.....
Be nobody's darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.*
(* Taken from What Can I Give My Daughters,Who Are Brave ? A speech delivered at Spelman College on commencement day - 1995 - From the Poem Be Nobody's Darling)