Friday, August 16, 2013

Rumpled skin of myself

My wolf came out the other day; no, literally she really did. On a 45-miute drive while I was taking a cat nap in the passenger seat – we'd done this same, long stretch three times in the last week-and-a-half – I had a waking dream. The kind that pops up before you know it, signaling that you were on the edge of sleep, but not quite.

Almost before it shifted to another visual, I recognized it as something to note. A yowling wolf, standing straight up, as if half human, emerging from a silken guise that looked like me. I was just shed, split in two and shuffled to the floor like a Disney-princess costume when the bad-guy seems more attractive.

I immediately sensed the wolf represented both power and anger. After journaling, I am aware she also symbolizes not playing by the rules, wildness, a natural state, animalness, beastliness and rawness.
Max and the Wild Things

The power and anger had been suppressed, but now they are out. This coincides with recent night waking as if my body is programmed for fear mode. Fear that I won't get enough done, be a good enough parent, earn enough, basically that there is not enough and I am not enough. On an intellectual and spiritual level, I know this isn't true. But, bodily and deeply imbedded, I don't and I need to learn it in that realm to release it.

A couple of days ago, a Richard Rohr meditation addressed this issue in a manner I had not before articulated:
Moving to the level of "participative knowing: is first of all a cellular experience, a full-body knowing. It is nothing you can prove merely by the mental ego. It is something you know by inner experience – by prayer, by love, and by suffering."
That hits the nail on the head for me.

This week I have been struggling, more like battling, with my almost 13-year-old in organizing her to go back to school. Organization is not in her genes and so her wolf has been calling, growling, to mine. As I explore and begin to address her resistance to organization and preference for chaos, I understand that taps into my current journey. That I have been too conformed to the world's ways that are not in sync with my nature. I have been teaching her some of the structures that constrict me and stuffed this wolf inside. She's challenging that. As a mother, I do need to guide her through the maze of living more easily in the world. Interesting books on fast minds and the hunter gene teach me that my daughter's nature is one of constant scanning and change. That she's not meant to be still and obedient, though she must adapt somewhat to survive this world. That's where I come in.

I can't ignore either of our wolves. Mine is no longer invisible and has shredded the princess facade of niceness. My wolf must channel her anger. Confess, as a wise astrologer suggested six months ago. Not repress or express. She's rebelling against old messages of sucking my stomach in or eating with my mouth closed so I don't appear uncivilized to others.

I ache to embrace this wildness that I see in my child. To own my power and creativity and surrender the old messages, patterns and destructive ways along with the fear and anger. I long to let go of the super structures that are not me. The ones that hold and hem me in. The ones that separate me from Spirit.

I want to flow, dance, be joyful and not restricted. That's all my daughter wants. We're fallible human bodies with big hearts and a spark of Divinity, that of God within. In learning to unstrap my burden of responsibility, perfectionism and attachment and give them to Spirit, perhaps that will guide her as well.

I feel like the opposite of my favorite storybook character, Max, from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Max dresses up in a wolf suit to become "the king of all the wild things." I've dressed up in a suit that constricts my wildness and closeness to Spirit. Hoping to complete the journey and return while, like Max's homecoming, my dinner is still hot.

• When has my wild thing emerged?
• What triggered it?
• What message did it bring?
• How do I identify with the wildness in others?
• How does that wildness draw me closer to Spirit?

lazily drifting
out of thought
into the warmth
of the sun, the
soft breeze and
gentle hum of
the car


images carelessly
floating by until
one calls, grabs
my attention

the wolf, my wolf
growls her way
out of my skin

announcing her
visibility and need
to be out

now, what to do
with the rumpled
skin of myself and
the new wildness

Listen to this post:


  1. I asked those questions to myself. And answers were pretty suprising. I'm very happy, because I learnd something new about myself today. Thans for inspiration.

  2. Joanna -- wonderful you that stopped by and had the courage to respond! Grateful the queries worked as prompts,too, and that you learned something, Blessings on your journey!
    -- Cathy