what the river wants

Day 29

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

I keep trying to write something, but nothing seems like the right thing.

I think I just need to be quiet tonight. Maybe read,

but maybe just lay, with baby in arms, husband beside, dogs at feet,

and talk to God,

and listen,

and ask for dreams,

that will tell me the true names of things,

and what the river wants,

and where the deer go at dusk,

and what this land accepts as offerings,

of thanks.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening. Thank you for commenting. Thank your for talking about these things when I see you in person, and over the phone. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for the connection.

Thank you,

I love you,

I’m sorry,

Please forgive me.



photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Tonight’s guest piece is one I think many can relate to. A confusion, a questioning, and a journey. Thank you Huckleberry Dre, dear friend and fellow re-wilder, for your honest, and beautiful words. Good luck in your searching, and reconnecting.

I appreciate this blog. I find it hard to spend time on the internet. But it seems to be a big way for people to connect now-a-days. Clearly, for me right now, the answer is to foster this rebellion where I am, in my community in Portland, Oregon. But I am unsure of myself. All I have to share is the feelings I have struggled with my whole life. Intense feelings of being out of balance. Intense feelings of loss. Intense feelings of grief.

Why do we act like we’re separate from the earth?

Why do we light up the night with electricity – all night – every night?

Why don’t we stop to mourn the death of an animal lying dead on the road?

I don’t have memorized statistics to support my feelings of “wrongness.” I’m not well-versed in the politics of the day. I feel small and ignorant. I know I have ingrained biases born of the fact that: I’m white, I’m a United States citizen, I’m in the lower middle class, I am a straight person, I identify as a woman, I’m married to a person that identifies as a man. I hate the labeling but I can’t ignore that the labels are there – like layers and layers of clothing. I feel trapped in structures of rent, utilities, and ownership. I feel suffocated by pavement and sidewalks. I feel overwhelmed by grief and anger.

I’ve always wanted to run off and live in an intentional community in the woods somewhere. I could become unlabeled and wild and reject modern culture as a whole. But yet, I never seemed to be able to get away from other people.

And, now, I have become a part of a community I love. And yet, it doesn’t feel like enough. It is because I am afraid to do my work. I am afraid to drop the veil of illusion and be true to myself. I’ve started to do it in little ways – but it feels like always having just one leg over a fence that’s a bit too tall. It would be much better to climb up and perch at the top –but once I do that, everything will change.

I will no longer be able to function at work the way I do now.

I will not longer be able to function in my relationship the way I do now.

I’m not even sure my relationship would survive the change.

I’m not sure of anything.

I fear for my heart – which for the first time would be displayed on my sleeve. In my mind, I imagine it being torn apart by backlashes of contempt, skepticism, disbelief, confusion, anger, and misunderstanding. I am afraid I would fall into being judgmental – an angry saboteur of relationships.

I am afraid of feeling even more torn apart than I already do.

Torn between living a life where I go to the grocery store and am overwhelmed by the choices and the many bullets to dodge: No GMOs, organic, local, in season, cheaper versus healthier…

…and dreaming of a life where my choices are influenced by my knowledge of what is growing in my garden, what is abundant, what is available from the earth depending on the season.

Torn between living a life where time chugs along relentlessly and I choose a stressful drive in the car over the sweaty joy of riding my bicycle…

…and dreaming of a life where time spins with the rising and setting of the sun and moon, and I walk.

Torn between living a life where I make do with the way the world works right now, afraid to speak my truth…

…and dreaming of a life where I reject all of it – abstaining from electricity, cell phones, cars, grocery stores, home ownership, office jobs, and interaction with the diversity of humans around me.

Either, Or?

Neither works for me. There must be a way to end this polarity of thought, this absolute mentality that wreaks havoc on my reality.

I believe that despite the many limits placed on humans – whether you are a human holding power over others, or you are a human that feels disempowered, or you are a human that doesn’t acknowledge all that power stuff, or all the in-betweens – we all have the ability to refuse moments of either/or in our lives. We all have the ability to dance between complacency and rebellion, to dance the song of in-between.

Maybe not every moment of our lives. Maybe not every decision we make. There are too many factors, too many complications. It would be disinformation to preach a perfect, 100%, A+ performance of the dance of in-between. Perfection, after all, is part of the either/or mentality.

But without perfection, there comes Balance.

And without knowing exactly what to do to fix things, there comes Trust.

And without knowing what is going to happen next, there comes Surrender.




I still feel grief and anger. But if I balance my dream of being a wild woman living in a forest against my reality of being a wild woman living in a city, I can see that no matter where I am, I am and will always be a wild woman.

I still feel ignorant and helpless. But if I trust that the choices I make reflect the song of in-between, then no matter how small and unnoticeable those choices may be, they make a difference.

I still feel afraid. But if I surrender to the realization that I don’t know what is going to happen – in my life, in my marriage, in the world, on the earth – then all I have to do is live, savoring the sweet nectar of my existence, releasing my doubt and fear into the joy of being alive.

Blessed be,

Huckleberry Dre


3 responses to “what the river wants

  1. Wild women unite. Thank you Natasha, you continually inspire, lead, motivate. Thank you Huckleberry Dre, Michelle and all other guests from whom I have drawn drawn strength, with whom I stand. Love….Regina

  2. Thank you, Regina! Solidarity!

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