Beautiful- A tribute to breast cancer survivors

Hi everyone,

Just a bit of background:

I wrote this piece because I was asked to perform a piece for A Breast Cancer Survivors Ball. I was very shocked at this invitation and deeply touched because I have never been through this or been around anyone closely enough to even share personal experiences, but was trusted for such an offering. I wouldn’t be able to make it so I recorded this piece and decided to share it on my site and soundcloud. The event (Pretty In Pink) was held by Gardner’s House which is an organization that helps people with Cancer to get necessities and support that they need despite circumstances. The founder is a breast cancer survivor herself. I find her story very inspiring. She is a beautiful person and full of strength. As I explored more and more stories on breast cancer survivors and their families, this is what came to me. Find out more about the dynamic and excellent work of Gardners House here: http://www.gardnershouse.org

 

Beautiful

 

They said I would not make it to see today

This morning I opened my eyes

Breathed the breath of life

And knew that there was a reason why

I give thanks

I cannot stop

 I have to try

There is a reason why

When adversity comes we must learn how to ascend

We must teach ourselves to fly

Pink is symbolic of my struggle

of my climb

of how far we have come

and that we can still have fun

It keeps me inspired to do more because there is more to come

It reminds me I have and must continue to do more than just survive

To enhance the quality of life

To be beautiful and bold enough to take the masked faces off of our fears

Embrace the tears from many nights of remembrance and dealing

 

The days to this point have not been easy

Many nights I cried myself to sleep

Heaving oxygen wondering why all of this now?

To me?

Cancer did not make me who I am, but on this journey I refused to let it break me

The reality hit when they said I have numbered days to live

That was the hardest part of the day but in acceptance of what may come I found truth

Death begins in the mind and I have more work to do

Sometimes the ugliest things in life show us the true beauty within

It breaks us down to show us what created the bonds in our foundation

 

It took me so long to see

I had been blind

Keeping up with appearances and holding onto unnecessary things

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but what does that mean when your eyes are not seeing reality

If there is no room to see what can be

 

They said I would not make it to see today

This morning I opened my eyes

Breathed the breath of life

And knew that there was a reason why

Every night I will shine with the stars

Shine the light on visions of sunrise

Every day I will rise with the sun

Warm and brilliant

Blossoming as the flowers do

Growing through adversity

Triumphant

Spreading my wings and soaring like the birds do

Coming out of my cocoon

I am no longer in hiding or ashamed

Or to be pitied

I am a reflection of possibility

A beauty

In rare form

No longer feeling like a victim

I am a victorious woman

And I still dream

Finding blessings in each piece of every day

A kind word

A loving hug

A smile so warm

The calm of the rain

The force of the storm

The rainbow after

 

Fall came around and my hair was falling as much as the green from the trees

Preparing for the coldest winter
Waiting for the warmth of spring
Every day in the interactions and encounters

Discouraging appointments filled with sympathy
I am more than a body
No empathy
Sorry ma’am We can’t do anything
But I must do everything
And through all of this they say you’re so beautiful
Through the daily tears
Through the hair that went from blowing to gone with the wind
Beautiful
No more breasts that aspired to make me voluptuous
Beautiful
Dress clothes free
A minor touch of make-up
Beautiful
That is what they’d call me
So I asked my boyfriend one day when everything sent to me seemed to be crumbling or washed away by the tide
Why everyone thought I was so  beautiful now
He almost instinctively said that it was the determination to live
The passion to experience the ability to breathe once more
The fight to get better and become stronger every day
The optimism when the world tries to take it away and show you every reason to complain
Influencing you to give up
Redefining the conditioning we have received about beauty
Because it is something that grows within you and radiates
You are an inspiration reminding us to never give up
Emphasizing that the quality of life is one of the most valuable things in life
That it isn’t what happens to you that creates you
It is what you choose to become

They said I would not make it to see today

This morning I opened my eyes

Breathed the breath of life

And knew that there was a reason why

To be all that I can be
My full self
To not only be pretty in pink but to embrace my beauty

Our beauty

To express the spectrum inside of me

 

Copyright© 2013 Narelle Thomas

All rights reserved.

A Tribute to Magdalena Gomez- Happy Birthday!

Magdalena Gomez

People know her for many things

Performance Poet

Playwright

Arts Educator

Columnist

Co- Founder and Artistic Director of Teatro V!da

Magdalena Gomez

My inspiration

mentor

teacher

and friend

a woman of compassion and strength

that teaches me many things

like that i  can bring myself way farther than I ever thought i could reach

and when in doubt reach anyway

do not be scared but prepared

for anything..

and

“Narelle this is your last chance, if we can’t hear you this time call your mother to come and pick you up, because we can’t spend anymore time on just you”

“do you all think that’s fair?”

after that rehearsal, i decided that it was and worked to make sure it didn’t happen again next week

She helped to nurture my outside of the box thinking

and to see stories like kaliedescope images

there are many pieces shapes and colors that create the image that you see

it is the same with self expression

we all have a piece of the story

because we are all a part of the image

and when the lines serve to separate us bend them into circles of connection or connect the dots to see a new story

She told me that we are more alike than you may think

and as always that made me think

but also made me feel like i’m walking a path where it’s not so lonely

and taught me that living with intention is pretty hip

In an interview I was reading 

she said that “even in times of great sorrow, we must choose to find what is encouraging and life giving, how we choose to live our lives is the greatest lesson we teach.”

well in response to that Magdalena

I’d like to say thank you for always presenting me with a life giving option in which to grow from

thank you for the infinite lessons that you continue to share with me and the world each day that you live

and for showing society the beauty of being a woman of color that is fearless

fierce

brilliant

and bold

to not always do what you are told

but to do what is necessary

Copyright© 2012 Narelle Thomas
All rights reserved.

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