Monday, March 10, 2014


We all find ourselves in the wilderness at some point in our lives.
You may be crossing one now.
You may be searching for metaphorical shade and supernatural water in your own personal wasteland.

A wilderness may be blue skies and crooked trees reflecting on still water.
or evaporated pools leaving cracked mosaic mud leading to the dead sea.
or pale watercolors covering unicorns as they migrate.

A wilderness can be the unquenchable thirst following the funeral of one who died too young, a drought not relieved by teardrops
or a visit to the upper room before going there to eternally.
A wilderness may be a lonely room in which you meet yourself.

Wildernesses were all of this or more at the Wildernesses: Physical and Spiritual Show hosted by EASE Gallery.

Artists and writers created pieces over the past two months around the theme of Wildernesses.  The result is a wonderful assortment  poems and essays, paintings and photographs that illuminate the many shapes, shades, and  sizes of  our personal wildernesses.

Both art and writing were shared at the opening reception for this project on Saturday, March 8, 2014.
What a delightful evening of images and words, wine and cheese, audience, artists and writers, family and friends.

In God's Waiting Room II, my poem and offering for the evening, deals with my father's walk in his own wilderness just before his death. This poem is the second in a larger piece composed of six poems.  Click here to read  my poem.

Despite the individuality and personal-ness of each offering, each also paradoxically guides  us through  universal wildernesses recognized and experienced by us all.

The  amazing artwork and writings are collected into one beautiful volume so that the evening can be revisited and remembered, experienced and enjoyed anew.

Click here for more information about this book.

All  wildernesses, however, are not tears and death.

Oxford Dictionaries define wilderness this way:
An uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.
The origin is explained;
Old English wildēornes 'land inhabited only by wild animals, from wild dēor 'wild deer' + ness.

Literally a place where wild deer live.
A wilder, wilding place.

Synonyms given are wilds, wasteland

So we think uninhabited, inhospitable, or uncultivated region--desert
We think jumble, confusion-- a weary wary place.

All wildernesses are not lonely, but can  also be welcome places of solitude and peace.

Wendell Berry offers us a different view--he offers the potential beauty of  the wilderness in his poem, The Peace of Wild Things.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief... 

Read Berry's the entire poem here.

What is your wilderness?
Where is your wild place, your wasteland?
How do you journey to and through that place?

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

Reflect on a time when you were in a wilderness.
List adjectives to describe that place, that time, that feeling.

What sent you into the wilderness?  How did you come out on the other side?

Write a poem or essay about this experience.
Create a visual image--either by hand or digitally to illustrate your wilderness experience.

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