But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us- to know
Whence our lives come and where they go. -m. arnold
the journey, my friends, the journey. walking these unfamiliar paths, meeting souls that feel familiar. on the land which always, always feels like home. working on the farm. learning wilderness survival and so much more about awareness, presence, movement. these days- i will never forget them.
You will erase everything you had written in the book of your life up until now: restlessness, uncertainty, lies. And in the place of all this you will write the word courage. By beginning the journey with that word and continuing with faith in God, you will arrive wherever you need to arrive. -p. coelho
in that spirit- here is my origin story.
this is my retelling of the story of LA LOBA, wolf woman, passed down to dr. clarissa pinkola estés in the incredible book, women who run with the wolves. inspired by recent experiences, my tribe, and the wild spirit that keeps me traveling forward. forward. forward.
* * *
Out under the milky moon after a day of scorching sunlight there is a woman moving slowly but purposefully through the desert. She has many names, but in this case we shall call her the wolf woman. La Loba.
She moves about almost undetected- you might catch a glimpse of her silvering hair amidst cactus flowers, her gnarled fingers stretching between jagged rocks or sifting sands. La Loba is silently searching through this landscape to uncover the bones.
These are the wild parts of ourselves- the indestructible, even by flame- the bones, and the wild life force within that gets buried, hidden, stolen away without us even knowing it.
Many of us find ourselves undertaking what seems like an impossible journey through the desert. Grains and grains of sand, rocks, spiked plants, cliffs, dunes. The landscape tricking our eyes, all seeming endless- the same. But we must do it. We must trust that each movement has a purpose, that this search is not in vain- like La Loba does.
As she finds these buried bones, each, one by one, she brings them back to her desert cave, piecing the wild skeleton back together in the dust beside the glowing firelight. And in the space between each placement, each adjustment, La Loba begins to sing.
Singing over the bones is what our soul is calling us to do when we feel displaced unrest. To go into that desert of the psyche, retrieve those lost parts of ourselves- and sing. Sing with our whole soul, our utmost and fully alive- for all the things we love and long for every morning at the break of day, in the quiet unfolding of night, and all the moments in between. Just SING. Without fear of what it sounds like, but only with heart.
And little by little as La Loba sings, the skeleton of bones in the dust winds itself back together- sinew and muscle, tissue and fur, little by little- this wild creature, almost lost to the dunes, begins to twitch, shake, stir- begins to BREATHE again, pump blood again, open its eyes and awake into full being again.
The wolf gets up as La Loba beams gently through the shadows and flickering light of the cave- and with a tail swish and its ears pricked up, it darts out into the distance, out of the cave and into the desert- eyes shining, howl swirling through its ribcage, paws beating in the moonlight, faster and faster until that wolf, that wild soul, searched for and sang back to life by the light of the fire- that creature becomes a girl running through the dunes and desert flowers.
And she is laughing. She is grateful. She is whole.
* * *
This girl will remember where she came from, and dedicate her life to the spirit of wild love that resurrected her. And in so doing, she will become an aspect of La Loba herself. It is this way the circle of discovery and rediscovery, losing and finding, wandering and wishing, leaving and returning- is never broken.
We sing our wild souls back to life- and then we help others do it too.
It is this way we keep the flow of gratitude moving.
It is this way we reassemble our tribe.
holy, holy grandmother we sing
wash us clean of our pain and suffering
give us strength for our new beginnings
from my deepest thanks i sing…
love to you warriors, wish-children, wild souls, spirits of light.
if you’re in the NYC area and enjoy arts/music/lit/mischief, come see me at LAST FRIDAYZ at local project on 7/31 or queens lit fest on the wkend of aug 1 & 2 at LIC bar in queens! more performance info on the events page.