She called me domesticated and it stung even though I knew it was said only with admiration. Even knowing that, it was as if the wound of my wild woman self had only partially closed and her words were salt. I forced myself to ask, “Have I been domesticated?” Are all the years of feminist training and listening to Ani Difranco a complete contradiction of my current marital bliss? Is my status a Domestic Goddess a complete sham?
Then it occured to me that Ani is happily married. The poetry she has created in the las few years since she married her love has been among the most hopeful, the most creative and the most empowering of any of her music from the angst-ridden years. Her softer side has emerged. She has thrown away her platform shoes and walks barefoot, her toes curling around Mother Earth while her arms cradle her guitar. She has become a Woman.
And then I remember how reading Women Who Run With the Wolves affected me to my core. Clarissa Pinkola Estes re-reading of fairy tales as the journey of woman to rediscover her feral soul, the part of herself that follows the ebb and flow of the moon, the part of her that mourns each month when she bleeds. That book was one of many that were keys to my healing the festering gashes of the past. Scars that still throb when the sadness overtakes me.
I am forced to admit that yes, I have become domestic. This is true. But is that the end of it? Do not wild cats become domestic when they are about to lay their brood? Do not wolves search for a safe place in their last months of pregnancy? A place where their family can be easily protected and easily fed. Where does the line between domesticity and wildness really lie?
I think back to my younger days when I strutted the clubs in high heels desperately looking for love and the eternal surprise when it was nowhere to be found. The old days when I was bouncing from rave to rave, thinking the answer was at the end of the next trip and the love I saught would be there too. My drinking days, bar to bar, behind a drink thinking the next sip would find me my true love. Here I am, married, a working housewife. Who would have guessed. Not me, in my feministing bliss, my Fuck men (but I need them) no I will never be domesticated. I am a woman running with the wolves here and now and there is no man to tame me. (But won’t one of you try?).
In my midriff-baring outfits, mini-skirts and high boots. My tattoos strategically placed beneath my little bitty t-shirts. I realise now that the Me that was her, desperately seeking barroom love and drunken bliss, she was the tame one. A domesticated creature wanting to please her Master. Doing what she must to get that bowl of love, the touch that will means forever, the embrace will provide security, protection. Under the mask of fierce feminism an Elizabethan princess bound by her corsets and breathing only when his face was turned away lest he see the pain in my eyes. Cutting off my toes to fit into the combat boots. I wanted to please them and if I could only please them enough they would never leave.
The moment I threw out my corset and breathed freely was the moment I found my husband, the true love I had been searching for all that time. Poetic justice? I was under the impression I had discovered my wild woman self long ago, but the truth was I had no fucking idea what that even meant. I had no idea what that meant until after I stood face to face with my true love and we exchanged vows to walk side by side until the end of our days. It was only then that I, without realising, stopped trying so hard and began to relax. Months later and now I begin to see how a woman returns to her wild side.
Rediscovering our woman self who runs with the wolves does not mean doing what we please, dressing like a slut, promiscuous sex or living in the forest. Rediscovering our wildness is remembering our calling in this life, the special gifts we were given by The Creator that will save the world in its small way if we use it correctly. Remembering the voices of our ancestors and following the signs. Yes, I am domestic. I enjoy a clean home, I love cooking, I love a house that smells of healthy food and sunlight. I am more than happy to spend my nights indoors in our marital cave rather than watching half-naked teenagers grinding against each other in a club or socially lubricating with alcohol to pretend something meaningful is going on.
I love the nest I am building, but that does not make me tame. It does not mean I am domesticated. Quite the opposite. I no longer walk around with my heart outstretched in my palm for the next stranger to do with it as they please. Rather, I keep my distance. I circle around them sniffing the air carefully for their vibrations. One bad smell and good luck getting near enough me to pet me. Get too close and you will wish you hadn’t. The tame girl, people pleaser is gone. She resurfaces from time to time when I am not listening to my insticts, the number one rule for running with the wolves, and the results are disastrous. The disaster reminds me with a sharp pain that I have gone astray. I have stepped into the mine-ridden territory of the Tame Girl, the stupid girl who wants to please everyone while suffering in someone else’s idea of what is good for her.
Marriage freed me from my domesticated life. Marriage has allowed me to remember that the wild woman in me is my true Self and she is the one that people love. She is the source of my creativity and the source of my love. It took marriage to remove the blinders.
Yes, I am domestic. I am nesting. I am preparing the first home I will make for myself and my own family. I am in love. I am happy. But these are not the marks of a domesticated woman, a tame woman. These are the signs of rediscovery. They are the signs of awakening. The signs that the chains and shackles of the past have been abandoned far behind me and I am beginning to embrace my wild future. I am running, hair tangled and sweaty, fearless, exhilarated…and having the time of my life.