It has taken me over 5 months to read just under half of the book I am currently reading, it may well take me a year to get through it.
It’s not because it’s a bad book, or even hard to get into; it’s just that it prods me in sleepy, unconscious, spiderweb covered places every page I turn, and therefore it is one of the best books I have ever read.
It awakens truths that rile me up and switch on a roaring, juicy fire in my soul. My breath quickens and my pulse deepens, I develop an urge to start revolutions, jump on a bare-backed horse and paint every blank wall I ride past with provocative fire-starting images. I develop an urge to read the words slowly, out loud, and let them roll seductively off my tongue and into the air, exploding into the silence and then dispersing back into it. I feel a need to read it so slowly that it will take a whole day to read one page just so I can fully absorb it, and I read passages more than once, especially ones that hit hard.
It doesn’t inspire violent revolution or malicious prankster behaviour; it inspires breaking free.
It’s called ‘women who run with the wolves‘ and was written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian Psychotherapist and cantadora, a self-proclaimed preserver and teller of stories told far and wide from all the four corners of the earth. Stories that hold deep meanings, morals and important messages for women, and my does she have a way with words!
I have just finished reading her breakdown of the classic ‘The red shoes‘ and every sentence she writes feels like it was written about me, and women just like me. It is my ‘tube’ book, my travelling companion. Every time I open it, I know that whatever I am about to read will correspond exactly to whatever I am currently going through. I always take a deep breath before opening it, and a deep sigh upon closing it and exiting at my stop.
In this book, she takes ancient stories, classic stories, tribal tales you name it, and pulls out the bones of the story. Also using references to the behaviour of wolves to describe a womans true nature.
I believe that men could also do with reading this book; the insight they could gain into the opposite sex would be invaluable to how they could best interact with a woman, and they would certainly gain newfound respect and awe for a woman’s goddess-like, wolfish nature.
A nature that is all too often squashed, boxed, imprisoned and trodden on…oftentimes by her own doing, and even more times by the rules and regulations of a man’s world and a male-led culture.
Are we women so powerful, so beautiful and so life-giving and taking, that deep down we frighten the opposite sex into needing to muffle our true voices, so that we don’t show up their weaknesses? Or is that too feminist and provocative a thought?
Are we women so frightened of our own nature, that we act like vicious bitches towards each other, especially when one of our fellow women has broken free from her chains and runs wild and free with her wolves?
Either way, it takes both sexes to make the world what it is, and I highly recommend that every woman at least, reads this book.
Wouldn’t it be an amazing phenomenon if women began to listen to their inner natures and creative desires, and to act on them? We’ll never know if we don’t try.
I came across an old lady recently who unknowingly provoked me into glimpsing my possible future self if I did not begin my ‘revolution’ immediately. She was a sweet, delicate old thing, hair well coiffed and everything put together as it ‘should’ be, but oh how apologetic and down on herself she was, how ugly she must have felt inside. It was as if she had lived her life trying to be ‘proper’ and to fit into certain molds, and if she didn’t fit them, well, then she was just a bad and unbecoming woman. I felt a need to hug her and tell her she was the most amazing and beautiful lady, and to thank her for reminding me, that I would do my utmost to ensure that I will grow old as ungracefully and as brazenly as possible.
As I near the halfway mark of the book, I anticipate the coming truths I will unfold and the size of the fire that grows.
If being ‘unbecoming’ means being who I am, then bring it on.