In wildness is the preservation of the world.
- Henry David Thoreau
One thing led to another last week and I found myself posting blogs addressing domestication vs wildness. After I posted my poem “An Early Time” which had a plowing image, that reminded me of “Shaphat’s Field” which I'd had as a draft for quite a while and never published to the blog, so I decided to go ahead and present it. “Shaphat’s Field” led me to ponder, which is better, wildness or domestication? I found two past essays, “Genie, Jesus; Bottle Book” and “Friendship with God,” both of which gave somewhat different takes on the interplay between wildness and domestication. With that, I remembered my “Dream Train” entry from my dream journal which demonstrated the stuffy, paralyzing effect of domesticity and the appeal of a liberating, creative wildness.
So which do I really think is more important, domestication or wildness? My answer would be a resounding “YES!” We must have the order and restraint found in our social customs in order for society to be secure and predictable. On the other hand, we must all remember the wildness that is in each of us. We must acknowledge that the wildness can break out into society at any time (especially if we deny the wildness for too long). We need that creative energy that leads us to new concepts and breaks us free from structures that are no longer needed. The structure provided by domestication allows me to know what to expect in my day to day encounters at work, at home, and at play. The creativity provided by wildness reassures me that I am alive and convinces me of the endless possibilities that lie ahead. Sometimes I need the quiet structure; sometimes I need the creative fire. I am glad for both.