By Courtney Quinlan
Unleash The Depth Of Your Inner Wild
A trilogy: part I of III
“to run wild, refuse to be tamed,” Old English awildian (see wild (adj.)). Wilding (n.) in the teen gang sense first recorded 1989. Earlier it meant “plant that grows without cultivation” (1520s).
Old English wilde “in the natural state, uncultivated, untamed, undomesticated, uncontrolled,” from Proto-Germanic *wilthja- (cognates: Old Saxon wildi, Old Norse villr, Old Frisian wilde, Dutch wild, Old High German wildi, German wild, Gothic wilþeis “wild,” German Wild (n.) “game”), from PIE root*welt- “woodlands; wild” (see wold).
“uncultivated or desolate region,” 1590s, in the wilds. From wild (adj.). Earlier it meant “wild animal” (c. 1200).
When my Wild self crawls out in an untamed howl, she screams like a banshee.
She speaks in tongues and sounds of fury and love. Like a chorus of mother wolves, she paces and circles within me, within her marked and carefully guarded territory. She breaks through me like medusa encased in stone, follicles of snakes dancing upon her head, ready to walk barefoot down the sunken trail.
She is fierce and often reckless, a Wild uncultivated procession of words that taste and smell sweet like roses and honey, tendrils wrapping tightly, piercing ever so gently with thorns that dig in and cut the surface, the Wild longs for the depth, she seeks what lies beneath.
Unleashed Wild likes to shape shift and crawl inside and around, feral like an animal, others know her as Instinct.
Wild like instinct, an action without thought.
Wild like when we allow ourselves to be animals, to lose language and move bodies as our predecessors did — walk on all fours or slither around each other like invertebrates.
Wild bodies tangled like undisturbed forests.
Wild like mating calls and rituals, like fire and wind that speaks through branches of trees.
A mouth open wide. Dry lips, and the shrieking echo of a red-tailed hawk flying. Wild like the way it finds you, the way it circles you. One, two, three times. Wild like soaring upon air, like sunlight illuminating wings.
Wild like speaking to animals, like knowing their words and gestures. Like knowing the shape and size of their bones beneath your skin.
Wild as in untamed, as in no one can capture me or hold me down or plant my feet. Wild as in — I am solitary, often by choice, sometimes by circumstance, mostly by acceptance.
Untamed like the blood running through my veins, carrying choices from generations passed, entwined in my DNA.
Wild like Native blood, like a connection to the land that calls to me in my sleep. Connection I have no living link to, no formal stories aside from the ones my eyes hold in the deep.
Wild like the time I was 11, it was summer and my skin was sticky from a humid day. A thunderstorm moved in, and something pulled me, some spirit.
I challenged the storm, I opened the door and ran barefoot up the trail in the woods as fast as I could. I ran until my lungs burned and my head was light. I waited under a stand of trees, sat on my favorite boulder and I stared at the empty field before me as I watched lightning strike. Wild like knowing I could have — that I should have turned and run home the way I came.
Wild like just following my feet, never telling my mother I was leaving. Wild like my anger.
Wild like my breath and the beat of my heart and the slow yet deliberate smile that came across my face as I leapt from the rock, ran into the pouring rain. Feet hit the muddy and slick grassy field.
Wild the way that time stops or slows down or changes how you recall things when your body fills with adrenaline. Wild arrogance to challenge such a storm.
I ran through the field and I heard a symphony playing in my head, the thunder crashed and lightning broke the sky as I ran across the field and onto the dirt road, rocks cutting the soles of my feet and my mother’s voice in the distance calling me.
Wild like in that moment — feeling so brilliant, so defiant — against myself, the laws of nature, against luck and chance and my own physical limits.
Wild like I had uncovered true freedom. I stood in the middle of the road, bent over catching my breath, hands resting on my knees, tired and soaked from summer rain that carried courage and a certain sense of immortality.
I knew from that very moment I loved the Wild; the noun, the verb, the adjective, whatever shape or form or synonym it took. I knew — raindrops brushing my eyelids, ribs and lungs expanding, feet bleeding, my heart and mind aligning.
I would never truly be a woman you could tame.
➵ Listen to Courtney read her magic out loud here.