The Strength card from today’s Writing the Wisdom of Your Soul writing challenge from Lyn Thurman stirred up an unusual post… It’s not necessarily the most cogent, cohesive piece of writing I’ve ever done, but, well… I’ll leave you to your own impressions.
Hairdryers are not my favorite things. I might relent and use the noisy things two or maybe three times per year. On the whole, though, I prefer letting my hair air dry naturally. The look that results doesn’t necessarily fit society’s idea of what a 40-year-old woman’s hair should look like, but then I tend to eschew any kind of make-up or dressy clothing norms anyway, so there are plenty of things that the fashion magnates and their minions could choose to pick on me about. I’ve gotten just about wild enough to mostly not really care… Until the days arise when I decide that I do want to look “pretty” for a change and I almost can’t figure out how to pull it off. Seriously, it leaves me feeling conflicted and frustrated and angry so that whatever event I wanted to look pretty for is tainted by my negative feelings about desiring to feel attractive. The wildness pushes at me from one side, the civilization from the other.
And it seems like the wildness is pushing more often and more resolutely than the civilization, which has never been a terribly taming force for me anyway. As a child, I stood on the edge of the playground and gazed out over the fields of tall waving grass, feeling the wind that was playing through the blades caress my skin too, knowing I was somehow different from the other children playing obliviously behind me. As an adult, I look out the windows of the buildings that confine me, watching the clouds parting, reforming, piling up, and evaporating. I’m not meant to be imprisoned like this but I have allowed the civilization to put a seed of fear into my wildness.
My wild says, “Walk into the woods.”
My civilization says, “There will be biting bugs there. Maybe even ticks!”
My wild says, “Write the words the way they enter your mind.”
My civilization says, “That will frighten too many people.”
My wild says, “You know everything you need to know right this moment.”
My civilization says, “Just one more book / class / group / session.”
My wild growls low and deep, a giant cat that is no form of tamed. When civilization retreats with haste, the growl softens to a purr that vibrates the line that sings between my root and my crown.
A hawk was gliding from branch to branch among the water oaks lining the walkway into work when I arrived this morning. Two crows were following it, cawing their warnings, though not urgently, and it seemed unfazed. I lost all three when they disappeared into the branches of a magnolia. From a literal perspective, I paused in awe and delight to take in the sight, knowing it was rare for a bird as large as a hawk to come that close to our factory – in the seven years I have worked here, this was a first for me. From a symbolic perspective, it could be a reminder to use my powers of observation in conjunction with my intuition to see my challenges from different perspectives but/and always from a place of quiet love and self-assured dignity.