Monday, April 14, 2014


This writing is by a student named C. V. Clark. She is relatively new to the practice, but empowered instantly, as is often the case. Call it "beginner's mind," but her direct hit on wilderness (the prompt from a few weeks ago) was insightful, vivid and real. Her insights reflect many of those that arose all week - questions about whether humans are wild or nature is, about solitary/solitude/loneliness and nature, and about the edges of danger meeting beauty.

In particular, the closing line really struck at the paradox of the prompt:
"The wilderness of humanity is not always so welcoming and reaffirming."

Please read for yourself...


Wild. Wilder. Wilderness.

Instantaneous pictures: Painted Desert. Great Plains. Badlands. Congaree Swamp. Ice caves

and frozen-over Great Lakes.

Awesome and inviting in their sheer lonely, empty, overwhelming beauty. Nothing distracts

me. That is what I first recall.

Enticing, invigorating, and mesmerizing. I am pulled into them. Yet, in the back of my mind,

a cautionary whisper disturbs me and there is a chill that softly tickles the skin in that small

spot between my shoulder blades. The whisper and the chill warn, “Take care.

What if you go to far? What if you get lost? Who will know? Who will come for you?”

A must-wander urgency provokes me into a mental pulling-tugging match with an innate

stay-in-line shyness to decide, “Do I dare go explore?”

Wild. Wilder. Wilderness.

It is always like that: How far to venture out of bounds? How far to tread off the path?

How long to be in solitude? How long to be solitary? Solitary in wilderness: enticed,

invigorated, mesmerized.

I am alone with my thoughts. Alone and acutely aware of human significance and worth.

Alone, with the essentials of reverence. And peace. And feeling there is energy and faith for

another day. Reaffirmed.

Wild. Wilder. Wilderness.

This, of the crowd. This, of a family, or a church, or a community. This anywhere, where

connections are not always sound, or true. The emptiness within them is deafening;


I am compelled by wilderness. It is itself and what I take from it depends upon how

I choose to come to it. The wilderness of humanity is not always so welcoming and


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