“Un Chien et un Loup.”
This was a French phrase I grew up hearing from my mother, that translates to “The Dog and the Wolf.” The dog represents the part of us that is tamed. The wolf is our wild within.
Some of us can exist in both—these are the wild women.
I wandered my whole life, not finding a direct route to anywhere in particular. The wolves who raised me—my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother—were wanderers too, never settling in one place for long. They were wild.
Throughout our lives we may wander here and there, to a couch, a bed, an apartment, with lovers, without lovers. It doesn’t seem to matter where we wander, our hearts on our sleeves and our souls ready to depart at any moment.
We may not be drawn to being married or settling down. We are aware of others around us having children, starting life-long careers, but none of these are on the radar of our soul. Instead, we just wander.
We may share our lives, bodies and minds with those who allow us into their homes. Some are aware of our loneliness, some are just lonely too.
When we don’t understand the balance between the wild wolf in the moonlight and the tamed ways of the dog, there is turmoil within. We may try to kill the songs of the wolves by conforming or finding acceptance in strange and dangerous places. We may push our limits of resilience in painful ways.
We can live in a state between being semi-responsible or being completely driven by our desires, not understanding how to “just be” with the desires of the wolf within. When we can’t be with these desires, we may try and drink away our fears, drive away our friends, and begin the process of a long suicide. Others may work away their lives, not stopping for a moment to notice the blooms around them.
For the wild women of the world, it is not an easy place to inhabit—the in between of this “real” world and the twilight world of our hearts.
Embracing our wild is the way to survival and to having any chance of telling your story to the next generation of little wilds.
Here are some important lessons I have learned that have helped me find balance, helped me maintain the soul of the wolf and the heart of the dog.
1. Listen to the song of your heart, the one that only you can hear. This may place you at odds with others, for their song won’t match yours. Learn to accept their songs to be their own, while roaming the woods of your own soul.
2. Accept yourself as you are—wild, raw, naked, aging, fierce, gravity having its way with you. Your body is your temple and time will alter its appearance, but not its ferocity. Allow each grey hair, wrinkle, weird thought and odd clothing choice to sing to you.
3. Do not shy away from true love or raw emotion. Do not run. Sit, listen, and gaze into the souls of those who so willingly come close enough to listen. Create your own family with your friends, animal rescues and loved ones. This is where you will call home.
4. Wander, if even just in your house, your backyard, your neighborhood. Notice all that does not wish to be seen. The tiny dead bird in front of your neighbor’s house, the opossum that has taken up residence behind your house, the miniature dinosaurs that sing in the morning and fill your trees with songs.
5. Nourish and care for yourself. Embrace the wolf within, the wild within. Listen to the song you sing each day, in the shower, in meditation, on your way to work.
At night the wolves may sing to us again. We hear their songs of solitude, struggle, death, movement and life. They sing songs full of life and measure; they help remind us that we are not alone.
Your wild is your story.
Embrace the dog and the wolf of your life.
“Un Chien et un Loup.”
Author: Gabriella Moonlight Dahalia
Image: Author’s own.
Editor: Nicole Cameron