Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wolves at the Door


Hare and Bone and Hide

There is a place I visit 
when weary in my heart,
of who we have become 
and how we have forgotten. 
The journey there is long, 
through cave, 
mountain, 
and remembering.
 I crunch through lightly falling snow, 
trail of woodsmoke 
and cedar scented air. 
Wind blows delicate flakes in bursts 
and breathes through tribes of swaying, reaching pines. 
It is night. 
When I reach the glowing shelter, 
flakes die, stars are born. 
Soft drumbeats and low voices 
hum together from inside. 
I bend and enter 
a flickering world of fire and women, 
wrapped in blankets and furs, 
singing songs of moss.
Hair and bone and hide
bound and tethered and known. 
I sit without a word, meeting 
- soul to soul-
the ancient one, 
keeping rhythm with antler 
and broken heart. 
Gentle sounds of rattles, 
shake me into presence. 
I am here, as I am, 
nothing more to do or say or be. 
The eyes of each one gathered here,
 knows of death, 
and of going beyond. 
A raw, 
exquisite knowing - running through the forest, 
hunting a life worth living,
glancing and grinning, 
at the toothless shadowed one, 
running along beside. 
Breathing together in this circle, 
drums and rattles and crows,
building, weaving, praying,
there is no forgetting who I am, 
or what I am to do, 
or that
 owls,
bears, 
and stones, 
are breathing 
with 
me, too.


I wrote this back in 2010, and posted it here then, too. It felt appropriate for today. 
Connecticut is not far from here  (for those of you from over the seas and far away), 
it is a neighboring state. The school where the shooting took place yesterday is one 
that a friend of a friend's niece went to until last year. So, this is close. But I have 
been in my own wave of grief the past few days - as it is with grief, coming and 
going - and find I can't crack open any more to hold this new, massive weight. 
I'm aware of it, but it is distant, not mine, I'm sticking with mine for now. 


Last night I had a dream of wolves at the door. First, I opened the front door to see a man in camouflage, carrying a rifle, walking close to the house. I thought to myself that I'd never seen a hunter so close, and closed the door and wondered. Then I looked out and saw two, huge wolves and several of their young. I was excited - for if there are wolves here, it means the forest is healthy, that there is enough prey for one of the larger predators. Then I thought of my Pasha cat and his forest wanderings - he's the closest thing I have to a child. I thought about the added risk of letting him out with wolves around. 

The truth is, I have been hearing what sounds an awful lot like Wolf howls in the night. They are not reported to be here, but, I think they may be moving in. Its quite something to let one's beloved out of sight, into the world - be it forest with wolves, or the world... 


44 comments:

Trish said...

So true, it is quite something to let your beloved out into the world.
The words you wrote in 2010 are quite something Valerianna.
Love and blessings to you and all those who grieve a loved one, especially the families in Connecticut. I cannot bear to think of their pain.x

Tammie Lee said...

thank you for the journey of your poem, deep and rich

yes, we never know what will happen in any moment, inside or outside

here we have wolves, bears and lions. there are two cats that live outside... and have for at least 8 years... i wonder how they survive, surely they are good hunters and people feed them here and there....

sometimes when the coyotes howl i am not certain if it is a coyote or a wolf. but when a wolf howls i am always certain as to who it is.

my heart leans towards yours ~

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Trish... yeah, I just cannot imagine the overwhelming grief quaking through that community!

Valerianna said...

Tammie - yes, absolutely, sometimes I hear a coyote start howling and wonder... but then the pack joins in and it is really yippy. But when a wolf howls, it is different, really, so I now wonder about these hills. We have bobcat, black bear, mountain lion, coyote and fisher... fisher the most worrisome to cats cause they'll climb a tree after it. And the wildlife folks haven't completely admitted that there are mountain lions, but enough folks have seen them that it is clear that there are. And now, it does seem that wolves are moving in. Pasha has survived all the rest, so, he's doing well, but one never knows, of course.

the wild magnolia said...

Hare and Bone and Hide...the woodlands and the animals stay true to their selves. Thank you.

We humans tend to decorate ourselves, our lives, not comfortable or satisfied with who we are. We have created a false and fractured reality. As you said, we have forgotten who we are.

My bones are quaking, my spirit is a shivers, my heart drips brokenness...for shattered families never the same.


Gwen Buchanan said...

So very true Valerianna, beautiful poem.. Coyotes in our area are very sly too and have begun to work in packs ... we hear them quite often .. I would not trust them. Take care of Pasha. I think of the both of you as one.. You take care of you too. and grieve as long as you need to... the grieving becomes a part of us..

Sweetpea said...

I've gone mute reading these heartfelt words.
But I wanted you to know I was here and that I heard you.

Mo Crow said...

namaste

Barry said...

Hi VA - Fiona and I were really so saddened about the disaster in Newton. As Obama said these incidents just break one's heart. And all we can do is send positive healing energy to all that this touched. We also send healing energy to you in your time of healing and sorrow. It is always a difficult decision to find the balance between giving freedom and protection. Go well. B

Sophie Munns said...

I just came across you poem on tumblr... and read it there without realising till the end it was from your pen... and your heart. That's what brought me here.
The mourning is immense, in that community, for you at this time and for so many...
thanks for sharing this post with us Valerianna ... peace be with you!
x

Valerianna said...

Quaking bones, yes...

Valerianna said...

The eastern coyotes do seem to hunt in packs, very different from our western coyotes. I have a deep respect for all of these critters, the coyotes are so wiley, I've seen dens in between super highways and I've seen them, late at night, sculking down the city streets of Providence.

I'm being with that... "the grieving becomes a part of us" ....

Valerianna said...

Glad you were here... and I hope you got your voice back, as its a lovely one!

Valerianna said...

I wish there were an symbol for bowing down with hands in salute! So, that's what I'm doing in return.

Valerianna said...

Barry, yes, that balance... What are the laws in Australia, I wonder?

Valerianna said...

Ha, things to travel... I had no idea my poem made it to tumblr... I wonder where?

Starr White said...

"I sit without a word, meeting soul to soul...." Yes. Exactly. Times like these call for an understanding and emotion that is completely beyond words. An indescribable knowing of the heart. My heart goes out to to you in your grief and to all those who are suffering.

Valerianna said...

Thanks, Starr - While my grief is really quite normal grief - that we will all go through, the loss of a parent, I just can't imagine the grief for a victim of violent crime... and a child victim.... no, no words there.

susan christensen said...

Our hearts are broken since Friday, even in this far-away place. Evil is present like the wolf outside your dream door. BUT - although the darkness seems to be never ending, we hold fast to the promise of light and love. Solstice blessings and comfort to you and dear Pasha. -sus

Sandra Dunn said...

We have to shine our love and light into the darkness, V.
I understand how you feel about Pasha. (you may remember my post about the dream i had - zody running away into the wild post oak land...yikes).
May you and Pasha be protected. Peace.

Caterina Giglio said...

sending you peace and love and light of course to dispel the fear of the darkness, and know that you are safe and all is well... wishing you a blessed holiday season...

Penny Berens said...

Joining you in grief.

Valerianna said...

Thanks Susan - blessings to you as well!

Valerianna said...

Oh, yes, vaguely remember that dream of Zody. Light shining is, indeed, very needed!

Valerianna said...

Same to you, Caterina, abundance, peace and much creative inspiration to you!

Valerianna said...

So many grieving and a whole town of families :(

Sara Shalom said...

I think we brave those wolves each time we send something heartfelt and creative out into the world, as you do with your blog. It can be hard to remember that the wolves' presence can be a sign of vitality in the community of beings. We refine one another.

(By the way, I have been reading your blog for quite some time. I just don't speak up much. Thank you for the blessings your writing, art and music have brought to me.)

Valerianna said...

Hi Sara - wise words... you are so right. We definitely must brave those wolves when we create. Anyone who has sent creative work out for evaluation or to a grant or anything must be prepared for biting rejections! Thanks for commenting, I hope to hear more from you and thanks for your appreciation!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

have you found out?
who is hunting the wolves?
and do you want them hunted?
what Risks are we willing to take in Hunting A Life?

Valerianna said...

As far as I know, no one is hunting the wolves, it was just my dream... but I do hear wolves. I wouldn't want them hunted, though.

layers said...

your words and poem and dream are all so current and haunting.. the news can be so sad at times.. heartbreaking.
I hope we all have a much happier new year.

acornmoon said...

I hope that you find Peace in the New Year and with it, a lifting of the weight on your shoulders.

Michala Gyetvai (Kayla coo) said...

Wishing you a Happy Christmas Valerianna and a very creative New Year.
Michala xx

Mo Crow said...

(((Valerianna))) wishing you & Pasha much peace and joy and wonderment in 2013!

goldenflower said...

Beautiful Valerianna. such a powerful dream!

I wonder if the Wolf parents and their family "moving in" in your dreams... is a reassuring sign of a returning Presence within your own consciousness? And the hunter simply that part of each of us who is wary of change, indeed of our own power?

I love your willingness to be real here in your blog Valerianna, about your grief, your curiosities, your observations. Even in your grief, you offer the weary traveller an honest place to rest her head.

Stille Linde said...

It is good to visit you here again, soul to soul, this is a place where I can sit down at your fire, I cannot do this on facebook for some reason. Beautiful to read your words, and ... could it be that Pasha knows more about wolves than you do? :))) I'm sure the howling feeds his soul. Blessings, to you, loved one, Barbara

Fiona Dempster said...

Valerianna - wishing you peace and quiet fulfilment in this new year; and hoping for you as you ride the waves of grief, up and down, the tides in and out, that you find a place to hold the memories close and dear and peace to move on...go well.

Valerianna said...

Yes... that is my dream, too!

Valerianna said...

acornmoon - seems there is a swaying dance between light and heavy of late. I imagine its the norm when one is grieving. More light the last days, moments of dark break in, as is the way.

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Michala :) you, too!

Valerianna said...

We'll take it!

Valerianna said...

A great dream interpretation, I like it. Thanks for the honest feedback, too.

Valerianna said...

I know what you mean about FB. I wonder if its the lack of control of the aesthetics of the space? I find that the cookie-cutter template has little to offer. I'm so much more inspired by a well designed blog, and also feel as though I can sit at ones fire!
Maybe Pasha does know about wolves. We listen together, through the open window, deep in the night.

Valerianna said...

Thank you, Fiona, the grief tides do flow... sometimes its like a full moon/storm surge tide around here, and other times a gentle, mid-spring swell. Blessings to you and Barry in this new year.