Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Life in the Wild

    Lying awake, staring into the predawn darkness, I rummage through my brain, touching on recent events, past events, memories, emotions. I feel the swell of emotions, dampen them down by sheer force of will, wish they weren't quite so easily accessed. I live my life with my emotions just under the surface. They are there, awaiting the slightest flicker to light the fuse. There are many times when I wish I could submerge my rampant emotions, tame them, rein them in, regain control. But after so many years of keeping them pent up, corralled, tethered and silenced, their wild nature became more than any cage could ever confine. I released them back into the world in a furious flurry, it was my Pandora's Box. Once opened, what was released can never be recaptured and confined again.
    I do love my tempestuous, impetuous nature. It is the vital spark within me, the driving force, my power. I have learned to love the exhilaration of the rollercoaster, exult in the maelstrom, ride the whirlwind. It is not a matter of control, or lack thereof, no more than I can control the weather or a wild river. It is acceptance, understanding, adaptation, flexibility. It is knowing that I will forever be a bit raw and oversensitive, exuberant and delicate. But it can be exhausting.
    There are times, usually when tears threaten, my chest constricts, and panic nips at my heels, that I wish I could regain the rigid control I forced for so many years. I sometimes almost wish that my life could be lived in shades of gray, of calm, quiet, neutrality. My own emotions can overwhelm me with intensity, their effect on others can be stampede enducing. At times I miss the cold, calculating protector that sheltered me from myself, and from others. As well as protected others from me. But even that stern overseer regularly lost her tight-fisted control and my emotions would erupt onto an unsuspecting world in a violent array of explosive temper, violent weeping, giddy laughter. Each outburst became that much harder to stop, to confine, to regain control. It eventually reached damaging, critical mass, as explosive things often do.
    When any wild thing is kept caged for too long it either loses it's will to live, or becomes a dangerous  unpredictable beast. I never lost my will to live, I became the beast. When the caged creature is finally released back into her native habitat, there will be a time of readjustment, relearning survival skills, and a heightened fear of entrapment. Long periods of captivity can result in an animal that does not easily fit back into the social norm, the pack. The freed animal may chose to be the lone wolf, a solitary creature. The pack may be too disturbed by aberrant behavior to be willing to allow the lone creature back into their fold.
    I do love my rampant, wild emotions. I love being freed of my self-imposed shackles. But I am reminded almost daily why those restaints were put into place. I find many people are uncomfortable with honest, vibrant emotions. People love the beauty of wild creatures, but want the safety of distance or a stout fence. They are enthralled and attracted, but fearful and cautious. They want to approach, touch, feel the thrill of danger, but will run at the first hint of fang or claw. They want the beauty, but want it tamed and collared, not understanding that the wildness and danger are a vital aspect of the beauty. Without freedom the wild creature becomes a moth-eaten, hollow shell and the beauty is lost forever. But with the freedom comes the knowledge that many will keep me at arms length for their own safety, or wish to collar and tame, cage and covet. Is it too much to wish for the hand that will let me run free, and yet be there outstretched, gentle, patient, knowing that trust and kindness, not collars or cages, are the true ways to live with The Wild.

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