This morning, the first thing I thought about when I woke up was a very funny memory from my high school days.
When I was in high school, a few guys from our brother school would take a drive over to our campus, put paper bags over their heads and run bare ass naked across our lawn, in plain view of many, many of our classroom windows and outside lunch area. It happened every year on Columbus Day and it always caused such a stir. Our school was an all-girl Catholic high school run by nuns. It was the type of school that was driven by money, red tape, and hypocrisy. And RULES. Goodness, the rules. It seemed that every year the rules just kept piling up. Vice Principal Nun (I can't remember her name right now) actually walked around with a ruler to measure our skirts. If it was higher than one inch above the knee we were given a detention. Since I've always looooooooooved rules, I had my skirt halfway up my cheeks so I was in detention very often.
Anyway, this "Streaking Day" caused a ruckus for the faculty because they would always try to prevent the guys from doing it or catch them. Year after year, the guys kept exposing themselves and year after year they would totally get away with it. I heard one particularly hypocritical and very young teacher say once that she could not believe that those good Catholic boys over at that all-boy high school run by priests "could do such a thing". This teacher was just out of college! Remembering all of this now makes me laugh so much. Not only was this NOT corrupting us "good girls", but we reveled in it! We would run to the windows to get a good look and have a jolly ogle and a great laugh. And the guys had even more fun. Running as fast as they could, slapping their butt cheeks and waving their arms about all crazy. It was all fun.
There's more to all of that though. And I realized it this morning when the memory came to me. As institutionalized as we were at both schools, we refused to have the Wild beat out of us. And so, the boys ran naked through our field and we ran to the windows to glare. With pleasure.
I can't tell you how many times in the last 6 months I've wished we lived in a naked world. When I would go outside and get sun on my breasts to heal my nipples on my not so private lawn, people would walk by and just FLIP OUT. Don't they have a pair of nipples, too? But I wished it not only to be able to do such a simple thing as healing, but to just be able to run naked through a field at midday and feel the sun on my entire body and then throw myself on the ground and feel Earth under every inch of my skin. To travel the earth barefoot like Michael Franti. These thoughts made me realize Wild Woman was being awakened. I can't really say "re-awakened" because I don't know if I have ever allowed her to come through before. Maybe I had an inkling of wilness when I was a child... before the systematic beat-it-out-of-you boxing in of lives began.
I've never taken well to rules or authority. And now even less. Now I am wondering how to teach my daughter to live in this world in some kind of proper manner but not succumb to it so as to not lose her originality or authenticity. If I teach her the only way I've known how to balance between these two, she'll be offending a lot of people- as I have. My entire life I've asked myself after many situations, "Should I have been more proper or any less passionate?"
The answer has always been a crystal clear "NO. ABSOLUTLEY NOT."
A friend recently told me a story about her amazing little 4 year old son who was with her in the lobby of a building waiting for the elevator. The doors opened to pick them up and they both walked in. She found it odd that he didn't say hello to the people in the elevator as they walked in because he is always very sunny and social. Later in the day, she said to him, "Son, you have to say hello to everyone always. It's not polite and not very nice to not say hello."
To which he responded, "Mama, it's also not nice or polite to lie. I did not feel like saying hello because I was not happy. I think it's not right to make me fake being happy."
And I think that pretty much sums it up. I think our culture is very used to force-fed beliefs and living inauthentically. I tried having this conversation today with my mom and since she's from the old school, she ended the conversation very abruptly with this comment "You are so rude." I saw it coming. Every time I have this conversation I just want to SCREAM or if I'm in a better mood bust out start singing Cat Stevens... "If you want to sing out, sing out." I reminded her that while these things are rude in her world, they make perfect sense in mine and that we didn't have to convince each other that either of us was right because the world is big enough to fit all of it. And I do believe that. The world is immense and has space for a lot. But at the present moment, my Wild Woman feels a little suffocated by this world's culture.
If I may wax metaphysical for a brief moment, I think most of us are fed up with things as they are. I think our Wilds are looking for their own Elysian Fields. I doubt they all look the same. I'd actually be disappointed if they did. Just don't be surprised if once a year I run naked through yours. :)