A guest post about the creation of ‘The Ballad of the Beach’

I was really pleased to be able to liaise with Lisa Hassan Scott so that a piece of my writing about the creation of my poem ‘The Ballad of the Beach’ could be published on her excellent blog.

It was really good to see my poetry on her blog (me? A guest blogger?!) and to have it accompanied by the beautiful art quilt by Karen Bachman-Kells (as featured in ‘Musings on Mothering’). Lisa has a large following on her blog – and I’m not surprised as she writes with great intelligence about parenting from the heart.

If you’d like to read my article, here is the link:

Lisa Hassan Scott’s blog

and why not stop by and have a good read of the articles on her site. You may just find that a minute (or twenty) have suddenly just vanished…



When being stuck in a bad job is a good thing.

Poetess, book lover, chemist…

I think I created poetry before I began to read and really love books. Then I loved books, and didn’t know whether to study the arts/literature at A level grade or to study the sciences. (I reasoned that I could continue to read fiction whilst carrying out science experiments at school, but that I couldn’t carry on doing science experiments whilst studying literature at school. A wise choice, I think.) And so I studied chemistry for many, many years and was happy until I became stuck in a job that was not right for me. I became very unhappy. The daily commute on trains and tube trains was wearying – in soul and body. The job was wearying – in soul and body. I didn’t know what to do. I read books and escaped into fictional worlds, desperate to be ‘there’ rather than in real life. Months went on. I found fault with everything and everyone… I found fault with myself. Why wasn’t I right for this job? Why couldn’t I make it work? Why couldn’t I be happy in this career?

Yet it was the best thing to happen to me, because it propelled me into action. As I questioned whether this career really was right for me, I began to connect with my inner voice and really listen to myself. What did I want to do? What did I want from my life? Could there be another path I could take? And would I be a loser for leaving the path that I had been on for so many years…? I was sure my male colleagues would think I was.

So I did something brave. I left it all behind. The work I went into next wasn’t quite right for me either, but the main thing was that I had left the familiar, well-trodden path, and tried to find my own path. It was scary to do so, but ultimately, right for me.

I will always remember that ‘bad’ job with fondness. Because it helped me to find me.

So what is a wild woman?

Well… a wild woman is not a screaming, raving banshee. She is not an out-of-control woman desperately clawing at everything and everyone in a mad rage. She is rather like the wild itself; the untamed wild forests, prairies and deserts where everything is in balance – in accord. And like the animals that live in that wilderness, a wild woman lives with her instincts intact. She trusts her own inner voice, is wary of predators, and loves her children and tribe fiercely. She is also in tune with her own – and the environment’s – cycles, and is not afraid of the ‘life, death, life’ cycle. Our ‘civilized’, industrialized culture in the West has attempted to tame the wild woman (and continues to try to do so) with the idea that a woman should, at all costs (and at all times) ‘be nice’, ‘be happy’ and ‘look pretty’. Yet the wild woman is hard to tame… and I believe that within every woman there is a wildness; a fierce loving and glorious creativity that has the potential to be unleashed and empower the woman, if only the woman begins the quest…

But is there time for this quest? Surely modern woman is just too busy; busy with the children, busy with her job, busy with her partner, busy with the house… The list is endless. But this work – the journey to develop the psyche, and to truly listen to one’s own inner voice is, ultimately, the most important work there is. Because a strong woman; a wild woman has the power to live life to the full; to move mountains, change society’s perceptions… she can change the world.

And best of all, wild woman wants to be found. She will help you make the journey. You only have to start…

To the Wild Woman at My Heels

When I think of a wolf, I think of thee;

Fearsome, yet loving, with instinct intact.

O wildish woman, untamed and free,

When I think of a wolf, I think of thee,

And I long to be able to see what you see.

I’m ready to journey; to sort fiction from fact…


Now when I think of a wolf, I think of me;

Fearsome, yet loving, with instinct intact.

by Marija Smits

This blog post was inspired by the wonderful book Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.