Friday, April 21, 2017

a witch of a book

I recently finished reading Wild, An Elemental Journey, by Jay Griffith - a book which continues to cling with long, sharp fingers to my heart even after I've put it down and picked up something more gentle. It is a witch book in the darkest meaning of the word - fierce and hungry, scraping its meaning into my bones until I am crying. And in the best, most real meaning of the word - laden with an old and powerful wisdom that may taste bitter at times, may choke us with its herby smoke, but is more than essential; is true. And true we can not do without.
“All humans are essentially wild creatures and hate confinement. We need what is wild, and we thrill to it, our wildness bubbling over with an anarchic joie de vivre. We glint when the wild light shines. The more suffocatingly enclosed we are - tamed by television, controlled by mortgages and bureaucracy - the louder our wild genes scream in aggression, anger and depression.” ― Jay Griffiths
My only argument against Jay's philosophy is that wild doesn't have to mean anarchy. Infact, any walk through a forest, a riverside, a meadow, will inform you that wilderness is actually a place of peace and co-operation. I myself see modern urban civilisations as places of anarchy. For all their laws and their boundaries, they revolt in the most profound manner of all - they do as they wish, regardless of the natural rules of life.

But wild - the tapestry of living - the threads that, trembling together, hum a timeless song all over the world, whatever the zone or climate - that is the enclosure of love. And the spirit, indeed, of internet journalling, since through this medium we are able to weave our roots together and share nutrients like all the members of a forest; we sing the evening songs of food-places and experiences as small birds do; we make a community. (How strange that this should happen in a white space of no space - a realm that touches nothing except minds and hearts in disparate places of the world.) The internet dismantles political laws and boundaries. It may seem like a wild anarchy of information and opinion, but I believe it is a wild peace of co-operation.

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