Being wild

I wrote this in January. Today’s my birthday, six months later and I’m reminding myself again.

“To be wild is not to be crazy or psychotic. True wildness is a love of nature, a delight in silence, a voice free to say spontaneous things, and an exuberant curiosity in the face of the unknown.”

—Robert Bly

I’m reminding myself this year to be wild and bold. To let the untamed part of me lead the way more often. To quit suppressing and arranging how I feel, what I think, what I express so that no one is made uncomfortable. Enough of the passive, the understated, the overly cautious, the creeping around like prey to avoid attention.

I will howl my grief, call down thunder in my rage, bare my teeth and growl at what I don’t want. May all those who were on the fence about me make up their minds and scurry away. May those who saw me as an easy target or a source of entertainment back away in horror. May those who would cite obligations choke on their words. May those who lay the burden of their emotional comfort on someone else’s adherence to the right rules forget how to tie their own shoes.

May I cause shock and alarm to any who see the growth of others as a threat to their stability. May those who use shame as a weapon be horrified in my presence. May those who claim authority over others shit themselves when they meet my eyes. May those who manipulate and coerce experience me as a stone wall. May those who value their safety over another’s freedom stumble into a pit of lukewarm cream of mushroom soup. May those who confuse their freedom with the right to harm others never be able to find a good parking place. May those who prefer control over growth get what they are looking for. May those who would trample others to prove their own superiority keep falling and landing hard until they learn that no one owes them anything.

And most of all, may I see myself in every one of these people. May I hear my own self-righteous voice whining in their pompous words. May I lay down my banner. May I quit trying to prove or explain or justify anything to anyone. May I refuse to give up my own wild bold foolish mistake-making changeable self for any kind of tribal acceptance. May I feel at home with being misunderstood. May I not shirk from understanding myself. May I see and accept my pettiness and smallness and pride and insecurity. May I withdraw from skirmishes and competitions and efforts that drain my soul. May I speak my piece with certainty and then laugh as it floats away on the wind. May I be convinced of my own rightness and slammed in the face with my own wrongness. May I pursue things with enthusiasm, or not at all. May I never be afraid to change my mind. May I gain strength from letting go. May I run through the woods, greet the trees, drink the sunlight, tremble in the shadows, bruise my knees on rocks worth climbing, and nap peacefully in a patch of warm, soft grass.

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