me. Sometimes writing a passage or two down and expanding on it. Not
nearly as many as what I highlighted or drew a box around whole
paragraphs in the book. What I am going to write here is straight from
my journal. It is unvarnished. I don't seem to have much of an ability
to edit my words into a truly cohesive writing. One with a beginning,
a middle, and an end. Over the years, I've become okay with that. It
rambles, and if you have the stamina to read it, then I'm open to
discussing it. :) One thing that struck me is the fact that until
today the intro and the afterward had nothing highlighted or written
in. I don't know if I didn't read them back when Mouseboots (a former
coworker and wolfie) introduced me to the Book and the Den or if it
just didn't resonate with me. 10 years on, it does.
"We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few
culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to
feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to
hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us
during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow
that trots behind us is definitely four-footed."
This took me back to that moment so many years ago (1998) when I knew
I had to run away from all I had known, all I had been taught, all
that was comfortable, and complacent. I was grieving a horribly bad
Sitting in my bed, panting, feeling four feet moving around in my
self, it was time to leave.
I hated my job, I was suffocating. Smothering with
expectation, with demands, with commands. It was freedom I sought back
then. Who knew that it would lead to the uncovering of my soul. I sure
as hell didn't.
Those four feet stripping my feelings bare felt like a dog in the hot
summer ripping up the ground and digging a hole to make a cool spot.
The digging and rending in my soul scared the shit out of me. How and
where would I make that comfortable cool spot under the shade? Would I
ever be able to stand on my own? I knew there was a gaping big hole in
myself. I tried to fill it with food, with meeting family
expectations, with people pleasing, with religion that I came to only
partially believe. Nothing worked. Leaving home, finding out who I
was on my own became the only solution. I had to run away. And it was
told to me that I was running away. I embraced the escape aspect of
it. Turned out I was running to something. It took me three years,
but I ran to the Book and then the Den.
Combining the strength of the women I met and what I had found out
about myself gave me my first glimpse of my wild self. Black and gray
fur, scars on her muzzle, her ears, her back. Her tail all but chewed
off. But I could finally see her. She was me and I am her.
"Without her they take too much or too little or nothing at all.
Without her they are silent when they are in fact on fire. She is
their regulator, she is their soulful heart, the same as the human
heart that regulates the physical body."
Ahh Vesuvius! Some days I miss you. Vesuvius is what happened to me
when emotions, especially anger were bottled up for too long. All at
once, I'd hit my breaking point and explode. As a teen, a few times
that was a physical response. I punched a window, thankfully, it
didn't break. But truths would come pouring out my mouth in a torrent.
They were unvarnished, and sometimes cruel. I am thankful I have
better learned to ask for what I need. To give myself time to process,
to know when I am draining myself dry.
"It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's
body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and
limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to
draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come
into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity,
to retain as much consciousness as possible."
This should be the goal of every woman
"STORIES ARE MEDICINE" I'm not entirely sure why I wrote that in my
journal in all capital letters. But it seemed to set my inner drums
"I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you,
and that you will work with these stories from your life - your life -
not someone else's life - water them with your blood and tears and
your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.
That is the work. The only work."
Mariah wrote, "We are called to preserve the "feminine instinctive
nature" and rightly so. But is there a corollary to "feminine
instinctive nature" and if so, what is it?
To me, that seems to corollate with the preserving of our own
intuition, our own gut reactions. Or at least it's a first step in the
corollary. Maybe it's in the beating of the feminism drum again. This
time on a global scale. As each woman realizes that she is not
property or has to be ruled by the men in her life, she reaches for
Maybe first that freedom is inside her own self. Turning off those
tapes in her head telling her to conform to cultural or religious
traditions. Turning on tapes that tell her to be more informed, to
listen to the heartbeats around her, to try to make it better for her
daughters and granddaughters. To listen to herself when she teaches
her boys how to be men. What does she teach them? Does she teach them
the old ways or does she teach them to respect women.
Maybe it is listening to herself and deciding for herself if she wants
to dress a certain way. If she wants to listen to a certain music. If
she wants to be on her own. If she wants to go to college. Listening
to herself about what she can do and what she is afraid to do. Does
she trust herself to do the thing that is hard? The thing that is not
in the normal purview of women? Is it in looking at the vacant lot
behind her house and deciding that instead of being the drug hangout
that she can put a garden in and help nourish the neighborhood. Or
simply picking up some plants and growing something on her balcony.
Listening to her inner voice as she sticks her hands in the dirt.
There are so many beginnings, at least one for every woman on this
planet. That is the corollary. The beginnings, all of them. Each one
bright and shiny or dark and scarred. But a start.