Some poetry help you see who and what you are. I keep learning that every day. Lucille Clifton is my muse. I travelled for work over the weekend and carried along 2 of her books of poetry: ‘How to carry water’ and ‘Quilting.’ I was drawn to both because they help me see who I am, like the blessings of a tide. While reading, I came across this unnamed piece she wrote to mothers. I have always looked to Lucille Clifton for inspiration, partly because I see myself in her and this piece. Her role as a mother, a poet, a woman grateful for the many wild blessings words bring, makes it possible for me to also imagine these wild blessings for myself. She cleared the space for many people to see and know themselves better. Also left a lot behind for the next generation to pick up where many left of in this race called life. This piece below is for women and anyone else to keep running into all that we can ever hope to become.
I spent yesterday reflecting on this poem of hers about women and what we do in life and work. She started by describing a woman, one just like her, similar to the one in proverbs too. Often the last to sleep, but the first to be up. Always coordinating her life, those of her children and partner and everyone else in between. Yet, despite all that, she still takes the time to put something down, words like ‘Good Times’ or what the grass knew. Gift of understanding may not be hers. But yet, her space at the table is vital, like her own life.
Women like that, those who juggle life and work and do it well or not, deserve to be on many tables. Yet are not. Like Lucille, I think about that woman, somewhere, somehow, like me. I don’t take anything for granted. Every single day is a gift worthy of praises, if not for anything, at least because we got another day. Surely, there will be another and another and so I think about what to do with each day a lot.
Today and for the past couple of days, to be surrounded by women like me, those who generously opened up their worlds so that I too can come in and find a seat at the table have inspired me to write this piece. The gift of understanding is beyond me. The little we dream is precious and possible in their company. It’s this and a prayer that what we continue beyond here and now, becomes all we want. That in a sense is what we are. I pray that the brilliance, the wisdom, the contribution of all women, those like me and those not like me, be kept alive, every single time, we collectively open up and let others come in and find their seat at the table. Keep women!