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Re-Wilding of my Self

October 20, 2007

I’ve been thinking of this post for days, wandering around my own being trying to find what it is that this feels like, this urgent grieving that is happening in the core of me.

Before I try to explain it, lasso this thing within me, I want to explain the way that I’m using the word wild.  If you’ve read Women Who Run with the Wolves, this explanation is probably redundant for you, but I need to explain it for my own self, to reclaim the taste of that word in my own depths.  A wild woman is not a woman who behaves in ways that are destructive to herself, unless it is to destroy that which has become moldy and useless.  A wild woman is not necessarily promiscuous, unless she is hunting for that knowing of falling into the right soul at the right moment.  It’s not about drinking and drugs and parties and driving to fast.  For me, in its barest essence, it means to be untamed.  I feel that word, wild, as oceans roaring, mountains towering high above in a way that seems to give the finger to the laws of physics.  It’s roses growing up in hard packed dirt and hummingbirds that choose to visit the feeder but never look you in the eye.  It is that piece, or one of them, that I seem to have abandoned on the side of the road of my living.

As a child, behaving as if I had been tamed by my captors was the only way to survive.  I felt like a tiger in the circus, always alert and aware but also swallowing the secret of my inner wild jungle while jumping through the masters’ hoops.  And sometimes, even then, I felt my own soul-claws growing, longing to lash out at those who would dare to hold me captive and demand that I perform tricks for those who would never have the wisdom to see the true me that was hidden within the flimsy skin of girl-thing.

Somewhere along the way, long after that, I sacrificed that wildness to the god of public acceptance.  I remember sitting in the park about 10 years ago and feeling as if I could smell the scorching of my soul as it burned in a bonfire, raging and sparking.  I chose, on purpose and deliberately, to surrender that part of me that needs to run, needs to breathe in gulping gasps as I fly through the Universe.  My husband needed a tamed woman, my Church demanded that I be respectable, and society itself seemed terrified of my wildness.  And so I let it burn.

But now I feel bereft.  There used to be so many things about myself that I loved.  I used to walk in a room with my shoulders back, knowing that my wildness was a beacon.  I’m not physically attractive and it never used to matter.  There was something in me, some untamed place within that made people look at me, made them want to see what it was that gave that glow to my skin, that sway to my hips, that secret smile resting lightly on my bones that said I had a secret.

 My wedding night, as I was lying there beside my husband, I remember thinking that I had just clipped my own faery wings and traded them for a life more stable.  I decided that I could not have wings and roots.  And the wildness was getting exhausting.  It was hard work to be so intimately connected to my body, to feel the changing of the tides in my bones and to be so empathic that a room full of people was like a mouthful of jalapenos. 

When I was wild-ed, I just knew stuff.  It truly did feel like I was always so aware of everything and everyone.  It still feels like such a primal thing that there are no words.  I lived from a depth of Self that had no language in and of itself.  It was as if the language of me was all in my senses: I knew who was sick because they smelled different to me.  I knew if there was someone dangerous to me because my skin would tremble at the mere mention of there name.  My body knew wisdom that I have no language to explain. 

I’ve written already about the disclaiming of my own body.  That happened when I was un-wilded.  So too did the lethargy and the exhaustion.  My disdain for sex and for food, my desire to curl up inside myself and live there alone forever was birthed during that time as well.

I’m reclaiming that piece now.  I announce to myself and the Divine and the Universe of star dirt that I am done being un-wilded. 

I will be walking barefoot with my head up, reading the earth through the callouses on my heels.  I will be swaying as I walk because She and I are going to dance again.  I will be eating with my fingers so that I can feel the goodness that food is made of.  I will not be going to and coming from my bed because a clock says so.  I will rise up when She calls me and rest when She says goodnight.

 I am joyfully and fearfully rewilding.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2007 11:36 pm

    I love, love LOVE this post SM! I am reading WWRWTW in it’s entirety (sp) and as I’ve told MotherWM, it looks like a school textbook…it’s all dog-eared and underscored in places that I want to come back to and think about, write about…and most sacredly, solidfy within myself once more.

    So I LOVE how you have succinctly describe your re-dedication to your Wild Self…because lately, my own wolf fangs are forever drooling with my own desire to get back in touch with my Wild Self too…

    a Wild howl to cheer you on,

    ps. I’m being inspired as well to create a blog button surrounding this…I’ll let you know…

  2. October 21, 2007 1:18 am

    What an amazing post! Sometimes when I’m struggling for where I’m at, what I’m reaching for, those things I don’t have words for, I stumble across something far more vivid and endearing and perfect than I could have ever imagined.

    Thank you for this.

  3. signmom permalink*
    October 21, 2007 2:01 am

    Wow…It’s more rewarding than I can say to read your comments. Sometimes when I am writing these things, I think that they make no sense. It’s a comfort to me to know that there are clear enough to be understood.

    LyricalFool, I am so pleased that my words resonate with you. Thank you for being willing to let me know that this counts for you, that these words have meaning to a soul other than my own.

    Lil, I’m howling with you and for you. I loaned my book to one woman who never returned it and then bought myself another copy. Which is currently loaned out to another woman!! I’m jealous (in a teasing, lovign way) that you have a copy that you can mark as intimately your own. Feel free to use this blog, this post if you need an “outside place” to put phrases that particularly resonate. And I love the idea of a blog button, though you’d also have to teach me how to use it!! I’m more incompetent with this tech stuff than I could ever explain!!

  4. October 21, 2007 3:33 pm

    “It is that piece, or one of them, that I seem to have abandoned on the side of the road of my living”

    “And sometimes, even then, I felt my own soul-claws growing, longing to lash out at those who would dare to hold me captive and demand that I perform tricks for those who would never have the wisdom to see the true me that was hidden within the flimsy skin of girl-thing.”

    “Somewhere along the way, long after that, I sacrificed that wildness to the god of public acceptance.”

    Okay…WOW. I stopped copying and pasting because I realized I’d just end up re-stating most of your post. How powerfully and eloquently you have captured your soul-longing in this post! Reading your words of what it was like to be wild before surrendering that part of yourself to the stakes makes me realize that my own wildness died a much quieter and subtle death long ago when I was still a child.

    WWRWTW is sitting on my book shelf as I bought it in a book-buying frenzy and haven’t yet gotten to it. I think it’s time I pick it up. My wild-ness needs to be fully resurrected from my depths. Thank you for helping me see this!

  5. signmom permalink*
    October 21, 2007 4:01 pm

    Thank you and thank you again. You have led me into the depths of myself so that I can see what is alive there and what needs to be resurrected. If there is anything within me that helps you to see your own Self reflected back, I am honored beyond words.

  6. Grace permalink
    October 21, 2007 11:16 pm

    What a beautiful thing to behold! Watching you rebirth yourself is…well…breathtaking. I have my own copy of WWRWTW right here..and interestingly enough, used a quote this morning for my own post!

    When you use the word “Bereft” I feel it to my very core. How many times in my own life have I stiffled and murdered off my own authentic Voice in order to fit in, be accepted, or – as currency for trying to obtain something I really wanted: Love.

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”–Anais Nin

    That pain you feel??? It is your wings freeing themselves again.

    Ah godd…isn’t it lovely?


  7. signmom permalink*
    October 22, 2007 12:48 am

    “That pain you feel??? It is your wings freeing themselves again.”

    I love that imagery and it feels True to me. It comforts me to think that I did not kill those wings, I jsut curled them tightly around myself. I can see them as these atrophied things that need to be re-loosened, unfurled. Thank you for that!

  8. poseidonsmuse permalink
    October 24, 2007 12:30 am

    My girlfriend and I have spoken about this ourselves rather frequently. Although neither of us have read WWRWTH (I guess I/we should though!), we have both realised that, as Tigers (for we were both born in the Year of the Tiger), we do appreciate a certain dignity in our “wildness”.

    Now, this isn’t “wild without obligation” or concern for yourself or others…this is “wildness” that keeps you anchored to that part of yourself that needs to feel connected to the free spirit existing within that corporeal body. This is the “wildness” of bold strength and independence that makes you feel alive.

    As a Tiger, I pace my cage both emotionally and intellectually…Thus, I am always in search of new challenges. I guess that is why I am forever on the hunt for the tools (intuition, perception, knowledge, communication) that will allow me to heighten my awareness as a Goddess and a woman.

    You sound as though you have experienced a world of awakening Signmom. That primitive connection of which you speak is a gift. Thank you for gifting us with this post and your newfound experiences and knowledge.

    Grace’s comment is lovely too…[love that metaphor].

    There is Revelation in Blossoming…it just takes plenty of Courage to do so…


    [ps. I tagged your for an ABC favourites meme! Thought you might like to participate and have some fun. I think we’d all like to get a chance to know you a bit better and learn about some of your favourite things!].

  9. signmom permalink*
    October 24, 2007 2:21 am

    Thank you so much for your reply, PM!! It continues to validate me, to see other women recognising this need within.


    Whoo hoo…my first meme!!!!

  10. October 25, 2007 12:17 pm

    Wonderful post Wild-Child!

    Like Grace, I also thought of a favorite quote…

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

    I posted once about WWRWTH, if you’re interested in the read. It’s a compilation of my favorite quotes from the book…

    I also found this site the other day…

    Check out these real wolf howls!

    They go right to my core, as did your beautiful and poignant post.

  11. signmom permalink*
    October 27, 2007 5:02 am

    Oh my goddess, I don’t know how I missed this before, Mother Wintermoon. Your words always go to the core of me as I feel that child within warm and safe in the cocoon of your Mother words…

    I am so exhausted tonight that I think my eyes are bleeding but I can’t wait to read your post tomorrow (thank you for the link!!!) and hear the wolves howl.

    I want to say again how much it means to me to have all of you women checking here. I get so much from the things you write and I feel so much wisdom in you and in your words that I’m still a little in awe when I see you all comment here. To be in the company of such as you is to be in the company of She Who Is Love, Light, and Wisdom.

  12. carolynlboyd permalink
    October 27, 2007 9:13 pm

    This is a post that left me saying “Yes! I’ve been through that!” I think this is one of those almost universal experiences women have. We intuit that wildness is not bad, as we have been taught, but that it is the source of all that is brilliant and powerful within us. Learning to be wild and at the same time walk through the society we live in effectively and with integrity – that’s a lifelong challenge. I am so delighted to find this post and this blog!

  13. signmom permalink*
    October 28, 2007 1:16 pm

    Aww!! Thank you! It’s been awhile since I posted here..I’m finding re-wilding to be one of the most challenging pieces of my Path, and also one of the most rewarding.

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