I went inside my heart
to see how it was.
Something there makes me hear
the whole world weeping.
Then I went to every city and small town,
searching for someone who could speak wisdom,
but everyone was complaining about love.
That moaning gave me an idea: Go back inside
and find the answer. But I found nothing.
The heart acts as translator between
mystical experience and intelligence.
It has its own inhabitants who do not talk
with someone just wandering through.
And remember that Muhammed said of the place
in human beings we call the heart,
This is what I value.
If I hold you with my emotions,
you’ll become a wished-for companion.
If I hold you with my eyes,
you’ll grow old and die.
So I hold you where we
both mix with the infinite.
All life is sacred, this is the truth.
Tell me, what makes the force, the power, the passion
flowing through a cow’s or chicken’s veins
any less worthy or meaningful than human blood?
We mangle, kill and destroy the soulful beings who have no voice
just as we kill off our own silent instinctive nature.
We feed our children the flesh of another mother’s baby
and give them the milk meant to nourish that young animal life
to drink, as if animal bodies are ours to own and mistreat.
Tell me, if we believe that our soul lives forever,
who is to say we won’t return to this green earth
as a pig huddled in a cage, without any right to live?
Would the argument that people give to possess you,
that you have no voice, no intelligence, no dreams
be enough to ignore the coldness of your chains at night?
Would it comfort you when they tear your little ones away from you,
laugh at your cries of despair, and treat you like living meat on wheels?
Would you still remember why it was somehow ok
that humans defined your experience and claimed to know what you were
without looking in your eyes to see your soul staring back at them
screaming “I am alive!”
There is a deep abyss in my heart
A black hole where cold winter and decay
are perpetual visitors.
I’ve tugged the sleeves of others
looking pleadingly at what they could give
but it was never enough
to be the sun to my frozen day.
I’m scared to death sometimes
that my heartache and bitter tears have strangled love
that I’m forever incapable of feeling
any warmth, tenderness or generosity
in that forsaken place.
Any lover or well-meaning friend
is venturing on a perilous journey indeed
if they try to light a fire
in my haunted garden of broken promises
and innocence lost too soon.
instead of struggling with your difficult, painful emotions
you would just…pause
Pause and accept that those emotions are there for a reason
That your lovely mind is trying to protect you against something,
in its understandable fear and insecurity
not knowing that in reality, everything is safe.
Instead of telling yourself off for having these feelings,
can you extend a little compassion to yourself today?
Behind every painful sensation,
behind every outburst of anger,
behind every trembling anxiety,
there is that little child in you
crying out for love and help.
Can you be that well of love and nourishment
not only to others, but most importantly,
Can you treat every wayward emotion
as a mother would treat her scared and tired toddler?
knowing that behind this violent outburst of temper
There is a beautiful, innocent soul
dying to go home
for a safe space
a little more sleep
and her mother’s warm, familiar, loving embrace.
So what compromises the Wild Woman? From the viewpoint of archetypal psychology as well as in ancient traditions, she is the female soul. Yet she is more; she is the source of the feminine. She is all that is of instinct, of the worlds both seen and hidden – she is the basis. We each receive from her a glowing cell which contains all the instincts and knowings needed for our lives.
“… She is the Life/Death/Life force, she is the incubator. She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multi-lingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry. She whispers from night dreams, she leaves behind on the terrain of a woman’s soul a coarse hair and muddy footprints. These fill women with longing to find her, free her, and love her.
“She is ideas, feelings, urges and memory. She has been lost and half forgotten for a long, long time. She is the source, the light, the night, the dark, and daybreak. She is the smell of good mud and the back leg of the fox. The birds which tell us secrets belong to her. She is the voice that says, ‘This way, this way.’
“She is the one who thunders after injustice. She is the one who turns like a great wheel. She is the maker of cycles. She is the one we leave home to look for. She is the one we come home to. She is the mucky root of all women. She is the things that keep us going when we think we’re done for. She is the incubator of raw little ideas and deals. She is the mind which thinks us, we are the thoughts that she thinks.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, 11.
To find that overrun road
right by the blossoming pear trees
shoes will be of no use to you, my lovely one.
I’m afraid anything you might carry with you
will only be a hindrance.
My advice, you say?
Don’t stop running
Follow the wolves
Light a fire
Stir the soul
Make love in the woods
Take it seriously
and fall headfirst into the autumn’s leaves
Then tell me something,
when you’re standing there,
Your hem knee-deep in mud
did you smell that scent you’ve been aching for?
Did you witness her shadow
jumping from tree to tree?
The one who’s elusive cadence
causes stars to burst into being
colours to whirl into flame
moonlight to birth another river
while her gentle ashes
cover the faces of the dying.
Did you run out of breath
following her to where she lives?
Did you pick up her trail
dancing shouting howling
under the pale moonlight
feeling the stabs of painful solitude?
Take heart, fiery soul
for it’s there,
at the end of all things orderly and recognisable
that your true home lies.
In moments of pain and frightening unease
know that this too shall pass
This wild, magnificent being within
will hold you and sing you lullabies
as you wail your tears in your pillow.
Take every breath as it comes
and think of the sea
When you open your eyes again
after a long, sleepless night
full of despair
know that you’re a warrior now.
You are Persephone
clad in white
after months of wearing only rags.
You have seen the underworld
Yet it has not scared you.
You have passed the test
You have survived.
Now, my dear, breathe…
You are free
You have found your own strength
Go now into the world and live
at how loved you are