J. Autherine's Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul

J. Autherine’s inaugural collection of poems and inspiration is a love offering to strong, vulnerable women who lead with their hearts, love deeply and sometimes fall hard. Wild Heart, Peaceful Soul is a deep, gritty, raw look at the thrill of loving unconditionally, as well as the mental and physical toll that it takes when peace and harmony are lost in the process. The author draws inspirations from her own journey spanning 30 years, and also dives deeply into the vulnerable hearts of women globally, including her experience growing up in Jamaica. She captures the pain and struggle of women who love deeply and pour into others without first filling their own jars.

We asked Janet what readers can expect from her book - and what her favorite aspect of the book is. Here’s what she had to say:

“The poems speaks to the heart of women on a broad range of subjects - starting a new relationship only to have the person disappear (ghosting), struggling to maintain self-esteem, the need to love someone from afar because of dysfunction, being unable to let go of the emotional grip of an unhealthy relationship, dating post-divorce, and the sheer joy of finding and loving the person who is right for you.  Most importantly, it provides empowerment by holding a mirror to our common struggles.

One of my favorite poems is titled, The Art of Loving a Broken Vessel.  We are often taught that we have to be perfect to be worthy of love.  The poem reminds us that we are worthy of love in every step of our journey.”

A broken vessel needs love the most
Repair it with gentle hands and a kind heart
Apply patience to the bumps and rough edges
Fill the vulnerable places with love
Turn its broken pieces into perfectly imperfect art

Another poem in the collection - Strong Sisters Unite - “was inspired by women of color who, in addition to the normal struggles that women face, are also faced with racial discrimination, stereotyped as sassy and difficult to get along with, considered the fixer/healer/organizer of our relationship our churches and our society,  being called hurtful names in songs that should be uplifting our sisters, mothers and daughters.  We are not allowed to be vulnerable and display a variety of human emotions, such as pain and anger.  We have been increasingly weighed down by the fear of losing our sons to violence and police brutality because they are not allowed to be children and not seen as humans.  We say an extra prayer for our husbands, brothers and sons when they leave the house.  The time to exhale will not be given to us; we have to take it and care for ourselves (meditation, counseling, support groups, spa days, sister circles), care for each other so that we can care for our children and change our society.”

The world knows that we are strong because
our strength is legendary
We are Harriet Tubman, Michelle Obama, and Rosa Parks.
We are Oprah Winfrey, Nanny, and Mae Jameson
We are Shirley Chisholm, Portia Simpson and Maya Angelou

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