IMG_3119There’s a savagery to civilization. Cutting down the sacred to make room for the new and improved. We have to destroy and mold it in order to make it safer. We beat and subdue it until it succumbs to our needs. Modern convenience. It’s a sacrifice we’ve made to tame the wild. Sometimes I look at the world and my heart breaks for how we’ve carved and divided it. We staked and claimed and ran out the native inhabitants (both animal and people) who were before us. We put in streets and neighborhoods and spread out over the land like locusts. We cut out the hearts of mountains, raped and plundered the earth’s depths forcing it to reveal it’s secrets.

We’ve tamed and subdued it so much that it has lost its wild beauty. There isn’t much that hasn’t been conquered or felt the effects of our rapid development. Yet without the modern conveniences of pavement and planes I wouldn’t be able to experience even a taste of this wild beauty. I stand at the edge of the world. It’s a place where animals still own much of the land, and civilization hasn’t fully invaded. I’m in a city—but it’s small compared to the ones I’ve left. I stand at a point in time where I can look out my window and see lush forests for miles, the people are few and far between.

I’m terrified of the bears that live up on these Alaskan mountains. But I want to climb them. It’s an agonizing tension—the need for safety and the call to this wild beauty where everything is possible. All the savagery but also all the expansion of my tiny body. My soul screams to experience life to its fullest almost as if it knows this is it’s one chance at adventure. But my body fights because it knows it is so fragile and mortal—torn apart easily by vicious teeth. And my mind mediates between the two…trying to appease the hunger of my soul and the fear of my flesh. And bit by bit I am succumbing to the desire for a savage beauty, an untamed wilderness, the call of the wild. 

4 Comments on breathing in the untamed

  1. Beautiful. I was camping in Colorado last weekend and there were repeated bear sightings near us. I don’t live in a “safe” neighborhood but bears seem like a different sort of violence. I wish I could have that wild beauty and peaceful safety too.

    • Wow, Miah. I didn’t even think about that–my sister is moving into South Sudan and somehow is able to set aside her concerns for safety and just lean into the moments she has. It’s something about her I envy. Her life is one great adventure, while mine is just tidbits of moments less safe.

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