Aleah Sato penetrates through dualism with mythically emerald eyes.
“…These fears that fell to my lot out of every day stirred a hundred other fears, and they stood up in me against me and agreed among themselves, and I couldn’t get beyond them. In striving to form them, I came to work creatively on them; instead of making them into things of my will, I only gave them a life of their own which they turned against me….”
~ Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
La Loba, Kali Ma, Artemis…the feral woman presents herself as mysterious, embodying the sensuous in her ability to shape-shift and multiply the mysteries inherent in being alive, but also terrifying to our comforts and sensibilities.
The author Hans Peter Duerr in his book Dreamtime: Concerning the Boundary Between Wilderness and Civilization, wrote of flying women – fearful witches – the division of hallucination and reality. His fascination was with those nightmares of the Black Forest and its spells looming over villagers. He wrote of women as bats, the misguided peyote eater, the daemon other searching for lost souls and delicious babies, men who could not resist their tempestuous freedom. The dark woods held strange imagery in the archaic mind being transmuted into societies of science and industry.
The Wild Woman rose up through my research into the mythic wilderness of landscape and dreamscape. Less reflective of dualism and the mind/body split, The Wild Woman focuses on the undefined life of a woman who refuses to succumb to the boundaries of society – but more than this, she defies what is real. The pursuer is I, you, we.
Defying the female or feminine as subject, the poem explores the aspects of Self that we attempt to capture in order to subterfuge: the belching, growling, belly-moaning, irritable and free-floating tendencies that exist but are avoided. “Everyone dies trying to tame her,” as the poem opens – that is, a lifetime is spent pushing out the nature of being alive: pain, aging and mortality. The Wild Woman is our essential life and death. Trembling, we see her collecting our bones and moving our ashes from home to some cosmic narrative.
The Wild Woman speaks to the paradox of our struggle to be released from what we think will also save us. Ultimately, it is the struggle that makes us fully realized. It is in being the pursuer and in knowing what we seek that we are most fragile, human.
Aleah Sato is the author of Badlands and Stillborn Wilderness. Her not-for-profit, The Wild Muse, connects women who have experienced trauma and addiction to the triad of nature, the arts and healing. She can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through her blog, Jane Crow Journal.