“What if the way out can be much sexier than buying things or changing legislation? What if it is more fun, and more colorful? What if the way out has to do with “re-wilding” our imaginations, undomesticating our lives, and reclaiming not only our rights but also our health?” Malia Burkhart
When I read Malia’s blog post about the 99 or One and the occupy movement it struck a chord with me. I especially like the concept of re-wilding our imaginations, undomesticating our lives and reclaiming our rights and our health. First of all I like the made up words because they go against domestication and move toward reclaiming our wildness. This reminds me of the Wild Woman movement started by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and her book “Women who Run With Wolves” in the early 1990’s and how that stirred me at the time. I was even part of a Wild Women artist group and we did a lot of wild and crazy things together.
This quote from the book brings up wonderful images of what that might begin to look like:
“Within in every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of the wildish nature come to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered the treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Women, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative and trapped.
“To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it”
“La Loba (Wolf Woman), the old one, the One Who Knows, is within us. She thrives in the deepest soul-psyche of women, the ancient and vital Wild Woman. She describes her home as that place in time where the spirit of women and the spirit of wolf meet the place where her mind and her instincts mingle, where a woman’s deep life funds her mundane life. It is the point where the I and the Thou kiss, the place where women run with the wolves”
I believe the same is true for men. We have been domesticate yet that doesn’t mean that domestication has to be our primary mode of operation. Domestication has little to do with our authentic wild self and a lot to do with conformity and fitting in. It has little to do with what our heart and soul desires and more about being enslaved.
“Nature and human beings are not separate. You can be sure that when the land and creatures are wounded by humans, that those humans are copying their own psychic wounds into the earth and animals as well; what is wounded and without thought, wounds others…”
~From essay “Massacre of the Dreamers, in “Untie The Strong Woman book” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
In one of my favorite children’s books, Maurice Sendak tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home making “mischief” in a wolf costume. As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. That is how we were all domesticated, we were punished for doing things that didn’t fit the status quo. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max proves to be the fiercest,conquering them by “staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once”, and he is made “the king of all wild things”, dancing with the monsters in a “wild rumpus”.
Social programming has left us over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative and trapped. We have projected our own wounds on how we treat nature and the earth. I think that is what we are witnessing right now, right along side of a movement around the world of people banding together to break free of it. Estes Pinkola and Sendak were planting seeds toward this movement and now those seeds are blossoming. I think we have reached momentum and that is what we are watching now in the freedom movements across the globe. People are so tired of feeling fearful, uncreative and trapped that they are willing to give their lives to change things.
This piggy-backs so well on my current writing about embracing our authentic selves and the beauty of “weirdness”. We have been away from our wildish nature too long as slaves to domestication and social programming. Our wild nature is a great part of our beauty. Without it we are not authentic and we are hiding parts of ourselves. It is exciting to watch people waking up and begin to explore the wild and natural creature that they are.
This is not an easy process because it means questioning all the things we were taught as children. It means letting go of judgment, self censorship and comparing. It means moving toward acceptance of self and others, of saying what is on our minds and not worrying about what others think and not comparing ourselves to each other in order to fit in and feel accepted because that is where the creative juice and genius is. That is the edge of the norm and the beginning of new territory. That is where the gate to the playground is. From that place we can burst forth a new world and our life, our health and our soul depends on it. If we lived from that place there would be no need for Occupy Movements.
Doesn’t that sound more colorful and sexy than what we have been doing for way too long? I think it would be beautiful to see everyone unleash their wild nature and be themselves!
Let’s all get WILD in the good sense! What do you think?
Here is my favorite photo of myself hanging out with wild things…