THE TRUTH WANTS TO FORM A SYLLABLE INSIDE ME

D39F759B-1AAE-4815-A0FB-14DAF074067ETHE TRUTH WANTS TO FORM A SYLLABLE INSIDE
(Word Count: 956)

I’m stuck down in the canyon—and the truth wants to form a syllable inside me. It whispers my real name.

And I discover: I had abandoned myself. So many times. So many years. And it hurts. Everything hurts too much. Everything is on fire.

I am too thirsty. The fire says, die here or climb. It is not a koan. Die here or climb.
I think about what I should write in my journal should they find my body. But I think—If I abandon myself now once again, I will abandon everybody I claim to love. And I can’t love without taking myself into the big heart. So I begin.

My body moves up the mountain and I find there’s nothing pulling me up except one thought—I have too much love to lie down here under the big hard sun and give up. The way love finds me comes in the shape of hot desert heart rocks that appear as I climb my way out…hand over fist over hand over fist, claiming my life with everything that is still alive in me.

They are screaming my name with a strength beyond muscle, until I finally reach the rim of the world.

The desert and the mountain and the heart of the world have tattooed the shape of love in me and I know now with a vibrating certainty: I will never abandon myself again.
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie
#mywildnatureheartstory

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Open Your Skin

D356FA82-0A00-451B-B21F-DA9A92C864F6Here’s a little poem that emerged from our Wild Nature Heart Deep Belonging gathering sense walk.

Open your tongue to the taste of the world
Open your skin to the texture of life
Open your ears to the heartbeat of things
Open your nose to the scent of the wind
Open your hands to the tribe of your choosing
Open your eyes to the place of your belonging
Open your heart to your true home within

AN APPRENTICESHIP TO VULNERABILITY

C8C8741B-E991-4174-9454-4580A00C13A6National Writing Month DAY 17:
AN APPRENTICESHIP TO VULNERABILITY
(Word Count: 956)

“I began the new year with skin exposed to sheets of rain
and trust exposed to the elements—an apprenticeship to vulnerability.

A break up, a break out, a break down, a break in.

I suspected a master craftsman lived within me, soothing a tenderfoot’s tender heart, pierced with perceived ruin. One of those end-of-the-world moments. It’s often the end of the world as we know it. And then…the new one.

I pitched a tent under a semi-shelter of long redwood limbs. The rain and tears came in buckets for days and nights without end. Then colors returned.

For the moment, I was dry. But I found there’s no protection for my heart because there’s nothing to be protected from.

What did I know already that I didn’t want to know? That I was scared to know? At some point I knew my heart could hold it all and more. And much more. It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times since.

On day 3 my fear dissolved in the coming clouds, knowing once again that water rolls through a parched land as tears fall as rain. On day 4 and 5 my pain became a glorious lotus bloom.

I had forgotten—Love will always be bigger than fear—and then I remembered. And then forgot again and then remembered—this is the dance.

It’s the same trust that sees even the darkest shadows radiate like a beacon signaling home—My own and others.

On day 6 I vowed to keep cracking—to meet the lightning bolts hidden on the magenta horizon as my long-lost best friend.

Oh how we missed each other.

On day 7 I walked back to town, to the beat of my heart.”
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie
#mywildnatureheartstory

STEPPING INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE

002C9459-1B00-4313-BB70-5A4C5219010ANational Writing Month DAY 16:
STEPPING INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE

“I can’t really count the times I’ve stood at the base of a mountain and thought, “How in the hell am I going to do this?! It’s impossible.” And then I go forward anyway, step by step, sometimes with much pain, often with unexpected joys. And I somehow find myself at the top, overlooking the verdant valley I was once in, looking to the next stage of the journey, asking, “how in the hell did I do that?”

The answer of course is step by step, sometimes hand over fist, sometimes face-planting with tears, but all the time, trust after trust.

This lesson has found its voice in many other circumstances. Yes I walked the entire range of the Sierra mountains, west to east and south to north, I’ve climbed hand over fist up out of a desert canyon, near death with exhaustion and dehydration, I’ve burrowed through dense forest and thorny vines and mud bogs, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I’ve met the big projects, I’ve dropped into that dark well of deep grief and the black holes, I’ve explored connections, and I’ve struggled with that enigma, my own powers, and I used to tremble with doubt and fear and resisted each stage of the journey, but then something shifted and I finally learned—it’s the step by step, it’s the Big Trust, it’s the self-love, it’s the being done with self-abandonment, it’s the forward motion of my longing, my vulnerable mountain heart, my true belonging.”
(Total Word Count so far: 16,455)
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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.

#mywildnatureheartstory

THE NEARBY FARAWAY EXPERIMENT

F3B3E2D7-FD8A-4D84-B2BB-2D6F9817786CNational Writing Month DAY 11: THE NEARBY FARAWAY EXPERIMENT

“Day 365: Today marks one year of my experiment of living outside. When I went to the woods, I didn’t quite know I was going for the long haul. It was as much out of expediency as experiment.

But then something happened—I started hearing things. I don’t mean in some woo-woo way, but rather hearing as in remembering, reconnecting, and realigning with the voice of the soul, of spirit, of the voices of the land. In the context of close living with nature through the seasons, I could hear my true voice, I could remember yes, this is our human birthright, I felt grounded and alive. I felt more creative, healthier, stronger. I felt a bigger Self come online.

Then I made a commitment-I said I would apprentice myself to the land through the fall and winter. I would apprentice myself to the craft of poetry. And I would apprentice myself to sharing practices of reconnection with others who found their way to the threshold, as I called it. That is, the threshold between the city & wilderness, between their busy lives & the longing in their souls. One manifestation of this eventually became @wildnatureheart.

Through the autumn colors & dying back, through the cold and dark but green and rainy winter, until spring burst like a supernova of a thousand scents and colors. And I knew I couldn’t turn back. I had learned so much,  found liberation in ways I could scarcely imagine a year ago.

The forest taught me, the muse taught me, my authentic self taught me: the alignment that occurs organically when one slows down and listens, & is not overwhelmed by the myriad voices, distractions, addictions of the dominant culture.

(Word Count: 2045)

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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.

-Ryan and Katie

#mywildnatureheartstory

THE WORLD BEGINS YET AGAIN

455FE4BD-170C-4642-ACA5-22C69D19FC08National Writing Month DAY 10: THE WORLD BEGINS YET AGAIN

“The question is, can I greet the day as well as it greets me? I nudge into morning breakfast with swallows, mallards, deer, silver lupine, and the poet William Stafford on the riverbank. The world begins yet again.

Dawn thoughts: Don’t apologize for existing. No proof required. Sharpen your freedom in the service of the love in the bone of your bones and with it cut your path inimitable. Write your bold ink name in the fathomless sky.”

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For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—each unlike anyone else’s story. What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery with you.