“Love her, but leave her wild.” — Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
“Wolves and Women have much in common. Both share a wild spirit. Women and Wolves are instinctual creatures, able to sense the unseen. They are loyal, protective of their packs and of their pups. They are wild and beautiful. Both have been hunted and captured. Even in captivity, one can see in the eyes of a Woman, or a Wolf, the longing to run free, and the determination that should the opportunity arise, Whoosh, they will be gone…”
— [Women who run with the Wolves]. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“May the wolf ever walk beside you, and grant you rest in his shadow. May his paws ever guide your path, and your howls be heard by all.” – Native American Prayer
“Why do I like you so much?” you ask me.
It’s 3 a.m. on a Friday night. Last call is at 4. A few too many drinks has the two of us leaning close, almost cheek-to-cheek to hear each other over the music and ruckus of the bar. We’re saying things we usually reserve for work – for time spent chatting in the corners of the kitchen when no one else is listening.
“I saw this show once that said humans are able to see more shades of green than any other color. Do you know why that is?” I ask.
The sudden turn of conversation catches you off guard, but you’ve had just enough to drink to play along.
“No,” you say curiously.
“Evolution. We gained this ability when we still lived among the apes in the forests to pick out predators from our surroundings…”
Your eyes are green – never the same shade. Sometimes I point this out to you. You told me once that your older sister used tell you that your green eyes would “draw in the ladies one day”.
She was right.
“And now, that ability works to our advantage as predators ourselves.”
Later and sober I will have thought of a similar response to your question – something about enjoying the thrill of the hunt, of seeking things we cannot have, of reveling in the feeling of not knowing whether we play the role of the hunter or the hunted. Tonight, I’m not sure how to make that connection.
When all you say is “that’s weird” in response, I go back to the beginning.
“Why do you like me so much? You tell me.”
Your pupils dilate; your green eyes search my face. You smile. “I can’t tell you that,” you say.
Our forest is the kitchen we work in, the car we’re riding in, the houses we party in, and the bars that we drink in. Tonight, I’m seeing green, green, green, and sweetheart, you don’t quite fit.
“Of course you feel lost. Stars are lost among galaxies. Galaxies are lost among super clusters. When we start to feel like we are our own piece of the universe, we are placed to scale alongside more vast things and we feel ourselves burn smaller. To feel lost means there’s a hundred different trajectories that exist for your celestial body to take.
So, go on, star dust.
Pick your orbit.”
“Say your name like a battle cry. Say your name like a fervent prayer. Say your name like it’s roofing above your head, tried and tested. Say your name like gold plated armour, for it is a beautiful name. When the time comes when you feel your name doesn’t feel like it’s worth its weight in gold, say your name like the weapon that it is. Say it strong, and fight.”