Loving a Wild Thing

May 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

If you fall in love with a wild thing, do not profess your affection with noise and flashy colors. She will startle and flee in an instant.

You must be patient and gentle. Do not lay traps; you may capture her presence, but  possession is not love, and you will not truly hold her heart or spirit. Snares, collars, and cages only distress and injure.

Patience and stillness, consistency and awareness. If you approach, she will back away. If you leave, she is unlikely to follow. Instead, sit in the meadow and meditate in silence, or speak softly of the stories you know, or sing your heart’s song.

Entice. Be interesting, yet not too threatening. If a wild thing’s curiosity grows more insistent than her caution, she will approach. Pretend not to notice, and she may gain confidence and circle closer, until you feel a soft scenting breath on your neck.

She may draw near and dart away at the last minute. Yet if you are patient and intriguing, she will come by again and again, lingering longer each time.

Then, perhaps, she will love you too. Yet she is still a wild thing, and her trust is as wary as her heart. Strike her, yell, or run away, and you will have to start over from the beginning, but it will be harder and slower for your betrayal.

There are other ways to court a wild thing, of course. They (we) aren’t all alike, after all. It is this:

Become a wild thing yourself.

Perhaps you are half wild already. Yet we all have wildness within us, hidden in the marrow of our bones and in the deepest shadows of our psyches. There is primality in the hindparts of our brains, in the reactivity of the limbic system. Even the most domestic of dogs remembers the wolf lying deep within the spiral dance of his genes.

If you fear and deny your own wildness, how can you accept and love the wildness in another without seeking to capture it and break it and tame it?

Touch the primal place within. Greet your wildness with savage joy. Become feral, and meet the wild thing you love as an equal. Meet as two feral hearts at the edge of a tame land, kindred spirits in the timeless dance of challenge and chase, hunt and quarry, courtship with claws and teeth.

Love your own wildness, and the wild things might draw near to court you.

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§ One Response to Loving a Wild Thing

  • Mary says:

    This post reminds me of an amazing song I heard and loved a long time ago. Chris Williamson’s “Wild Things”. “Go back into the darkness like the wild thing that you are. Your teeth are far too sharp my love, I’m afraid you’ll go too far.”

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