Take a Walk on the Wild Side

por Júlia Albertoni

clique aqui para Português

I start drafting this chronicle as the tube crosses the muddy London land, the sun raises to prepare a wet sky, there are still reminiscences of the full moon that had breakfast with the city, and the music “Take a Walk On The Wild Side” starts playing on my headphones. Coincidences don’t exist. Lou Reed wants to remind us, “I said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side”. I look at the view through the windows, and I ask, what does that mean?

It has already been 3 years since I questioned what would be to live the archetype of the wild woman, starting to write these chronicles – as the storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estés did in the famous book Woman Who Runs With the Wolves. During this time, I shared many reflections, insights, readings and even a book, A Jornada da Louca (The Fool’s Journey, currently in Portuguese), published last year. But I am still not sure if I understood what is, in the end, to walk on the wild side of life.

Doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo-doo – the chorus sings in the song. I take my notebook. According to it, being a wild woman means 1) retrieving to the natural psyche; 2) listening to stories that allow us to choose the path left by the wild nature; 3) listening to an inner calling and knocking on the door; 4) wishing for being wild when realising we don’t spend much time with our mystical fire or dreaming; 5) knowing instinctively when things must to die and when they must live; 6) being an observer, an intuitive, a visionary, an oracle, an inventor, a creator, a listener that guides; 7) giving support to the inner and outer life; 9) living a natural life, with integrity and healthy boundaries; 10) having a wise nature; 11) being a whole being

I look then at the shoes of the old man reading a newspaper in front of me. Being a whole being… how do we know when we are whole? How do we know if we came back to our natural psyche, to a healthy nature, nurturing our mystical fire, listening to the calls and supporting life? How do we know that we live in the wild nature?

The day goes by like the low and soft beat of Lou Reed’s music. “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” seems to speak about a different type of wilderness. Written in the 70’s New York, where criminality, prostitution, poor artists and Andy Warhol shared a similar sensation: that the underground – what is dirty, odd and different – it’s real, it is what it is, and from there emerges art, life, because life and art are everywhere. I listen to the music over and over again. I don’t think it is a coincidence it had played at the moment I am back writing these chronicles. And I understand that it might have more to do with the archetype of the wild nature than I thought. It’s because Lou Reed invites us to go to the underworld – the underground – and leave there singing in a coloured chorus.

The truth of the song and the stories of Clarissa makes me realise that maybe being a wild woman, or a wild person, is having the courage to walk through the places considered not domesticated, dirty, weird, that can be outside us, but that truly are inside. Deep inside. There is an underground part of us, where the wild grows with no shame. Like once a very wise person told me: isn’t from the muddy waters that the lotus flower emerges and from it an enlightened being is born? In the wild nature everything is: there is no distinction of what is right or wrong, clean or dirty, this or that.

The wild women run with the wolves and don’t run away from them – they don’t hide, neither pretend to be. They walk through the underworld and get back singing in a coloured chorus. They have fibre to do this – as Lou Reed’s music turned the 70’s New York underground obscene into poetry. This is to be a whole being. It is accepting everything and turning everything into poetry. Even the ragged or weird part of ourselves. Being a whole being demands strength, courage and fibre. You know yourself, you accept yourself, and you let yourself walk on the wild side.

So, I invite you to walk freely, and on your way, sing out loud. The Chronicles of a Wild Woman are back.

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Copyright Júlia Albertoni. All rights reserved.

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