Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Phenomenal Woman

art by Angela Yarber

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


I've known Sarah since we were three years old. Both our families' first Peace Camp was in 1992. But neither of us remember each other from then. There's scattered vague memories of being in the children's program during our Peace Camps of childhood, but it wasn't until the summer of 2001 that we really became friends.

The summer of 2001, Peace Camp was in Oberlin and it was our first year in the youth group, in fact, I turned 12 that week. Sarah, Madi, and I, as the new 12 year olds to the youth group, became fast friends. We spent practically every waking moment together at that Peace Camp, and every one after. Madi left us for heaven in 2004, and it was one of the hardest things we dealt with at such a young age.

We remained close friends through the years after, visiting each other's homes, still going to Peace Camp every summer, bridging distances between our chosen universities far away from one another and eventually to the post-undergrad years to the day just a little less than two and a half years ago when she told me about a new guy she was dating.

If you know Sarah, you know she's anti-cheesy. But she could barely contain her excitement and joy at having Alex in her life. Within months, they knew they were in it for the long haul, and about a year ago, they were officially engaged, bringing us all the way to today, when they will be married in front of their friends and family.

Sarah has been my best friend for a long time. We've gone through many life changes about the same time, since we are only a month apart in age. The last few years have been difficult for me, obviously because of my mom's illness and death, and there was a part of me that just felt sad that Sarah was going through this next life step of marriage, and I wouldn't be able to do it near the same time. But let's be real, how nuts would it be to have had two best friends have their wedding around the same time? But even more difficult through all of this has been the imagining of my own possible future wedding that my mother will never be present for. 

But Sarah will be. Because Sarah is my best friend. And I am incredibly grateful that I have her. And I am honored to stand with her as a bridesmaid today. She is an amazing person and Alex is too. They complement each other in so many ways, and I know they will live an incredible life together filled with whatever joys and sorrows life gives them. I wish for them that they always be on the same team. My mom was so excited for you last summer, and I know she'll be watching today from heaven. 

Best wishes to the happy couple! Welcome to the family, Alex, we're all so glad to have you!