wild

“She had a wild, wandering soul but when she loved, she loved with chaos and that made all the difference.” ― Ariana Dancu

There is something untamed in all of us, a chaotic inclination that rises up and revolts against the domestication that restrains our ‘wild’ side. At the core of our non-standard self is a desire to explore the realms of unhinged possibility and break free from the old ways of being. The human race has historically survived based on a flare for adventure where we searched for alternate new-world spaces in order to escape the mundane existence of our own predictability.

The ancient mariners sailed the oceans searching for new havens of sanctuary hoping to find the treasure at the end of the proverbial rainbow. In an ironic twist of events the great pioneers didn’t end up staying true to their ideals of learning and evolving but instead raped and pillaged the new wild frontier cultures in the name of their king and country, ultimately turning that which was wild and untamed into a replicate version of their origins. They didn’t come to give, (except disease), but ultimately took from others what was not theirs in the first place. Empires grow and survive by creating a system of uniformity that seeks to restrict our individuality and unique distinctiveness.

To some degree religion is to blame for the disintegration of indigenous cultures, somewhat convinced that ‘savages' needed to be converted and recalibrated in order to align with the dominant thought of the empires polity. Religions weakness will always be its fear of prophetic possibility, especially when those wild cultures start to challenge the institutional powers that be. Indigenous culture is the heart of incarnational human imagination, the product of our wild inner self who is constantly searching for meaning and belonging. Racism is the evil that occurs when we try to deny the wild indigenous self the right to express itself and be heard in the world.

In order to recapture my wild side it will require a degree of commotion and disturbance, an overturning of the tables moment in our temples so that our souls can be redeemed from that which has sold us down the river. It's as if we need to rebel a bit and question (again) why we have continued to do things the way we do them.

“And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!” ― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

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In Maurice Sendak’s children's story about a boy called Max it opens with the scene of him dressing in a wolf costume awakening his wild side and wreaking havoc on his household. After being sent to his room without supper his room transforms into a jungle (metaphor for the wild) environment where he finds himself magically sailing to an island where the wild things live. All wild spaces, like oceans and jungles have a beautiful symmetry of connection that together provide an analogous backdrop for our inner journey. Max manages to intimidate the wild creatures into letting him become their king while enjoying a playful adventure with his new found subjects. Eventually his kingship over his wild subjects evokes a loneliness in him, a pining for home that eventually transports him back into his room where supper is waiting for him.

The wild side of life is not something to be tamed but something to be experienced, something to submit and be subjected to. Your wolf uniform is your personality and particularity, the thing that distinguishes you as undeniably unique. If you can manage to enjoy your wild side and not wreak havoc on others ( metaphor for control) then the wild-erness of life will always be a place you can enjoy rather than endure on the way to some kind of utopian promised land. The dreamer in us all needs other worldly possibility so that we can feed our need for human flourishing and the idea of heaven as an other-worldly idea has always been about this life more than an after-life place. In religious circles I have sometimes wondered if we have over-played our triumphalistic hand and have 'over promised' the promised land in a way that denigrates the wilderness as merely a disappointing inconvenience.

When I read the story of the Hebrew people I am more drawn to the wilderness adventures than their journey into the promised land, simply because of the brutality, plundering, and ethnic cleansing that occurred on their initial entrance. The scriptures say that “God” gave them victory over the fighting men but said said nothing about killing everything in their wake. Rather than embracing the new cultural experience they overlaid their dominant world view and sought to extinguish all potential benefits. By chance Rahab 'the harlot' became the divine answer to the importance of indigenous integration, someone who would be a distant relative of the coming messiah in Jesus. Thank God that we have not been left to ourselves in order to determine the outcome of humanity.

Our evolution as a species is not about divide and conquer but rather transcend and include, inviting the big wild world into our hearts, becoming a bigger people in the process.

The driving catalyst behind your wild side is the capacity to love life and live sacrificially for something more than just your own agenda. Your wandering soul is constantly on the move looking for ways to magically find something in the chaos that is all around you.

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” ― Leo Tolstoy

Love the wild and she will love you in return