Montana Wolf

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Outside Naked on Blood-slick Snow

I've changed the title of my blog.
Part monumental shift; part seasonal thaw.
Or may be it's the extra cardamon I tossed into the gingerbread yesterday.

The words "Outside Naked" have been swelling my brain for months.

"Outside Naked" because it is here, within the roiling seasons, I am  laid bare.
Chickadee. Song Dog. Beaver. Elk. Bobcat. Moose. Whale. Soul is stripped to essence in the presence of the wild ones and the lands they call home.

There's much to say; even more to feel and synthesize in that place beyond words.

I sit at ground zero in NW Montana.

Wolves, the ultimate symbol of what little wild remains, are under assault as men consider poisoning, trapping, extending the season and hiring bounty killers to take down the beast.

We have been there. Done that.

Men killed over 75 million buffalo between 1850 and 1880. Seventy. Five. Million. Not for food. For hides. For fun. Rotting meat and wild spirits strewn across the west. Wolves, of course, proliferated in the protein rich backwoods and plains. Then came ranchers with cattle. 100,000 wolves exterminated between  1870 and 1877 in Montana alone! As of this month's count, there are estimated to be 653 wolves in Montana, 87 more than at last year. 130 packs and 39 breeding pairs. A 15% increase and the guys are riled. They'd like to be paid $100 for every wolf carcass they can deliver; $20 for every pup. Meanwhile, Utah is encouraging hunters to exterminate 20,000 coyotes.

Manifest destiny. The God-given right to control, dominate and conquer.

Scene Two: Rush Limbaugh, who recently screamed slut and whore across the clear channel airwaves, telling a female law student that her parents would be ashamed that she spoke publicly of a woman's right and need for birth control; how those costs should be covered by health insurance. Because you see, at the heart of this madness is woman's freedom. She must be controlled. Shamed to submission. Just ask Santorum, who would compel a woman carry a rape fetus to full term, and give the rapist parental rights.

We have been there; done that.

Today is the warmest day of the year. The gravel roads are thick with slush and water runs free with the magic of thaw.  The earth stirs. My ears perk up at new bird songs. I pay attention to Ponderosa's sway in the wind as much as the synchronicity of human-made stories. It's all connected.

I want to believe that everyone is gathering force and placing themselves at their personal ground zero, prepared to watch and witness. I like my vantage point at the crossroads of wisdom and wild.

I stand with the holy feral, outside naked.


  1. Dang, Christina! YES!!!

  2. From Emilie: Interesting name change. I really liked your reflections on the wolf and the wild, Defining the Dispossessed. Lots to think about. My bottom line is I can't understand killing a wolf.

    1. Barry Lopez and Jack Turner have written poignantly on this subject. While it's good to view it from the intellectual side, it's imperative we feel it in our bodies. Thanks for your comment, Emilie.

  3. From Kizzen L. Powerful piece of writing.

  4. From Carol: goose bumps....all things I think about, that you are able to put into words for me. Are there any answers? There are steps forward, but then there is the segment of that group mentality you write about, that goes back ions, that never changes....

    1. To breathe, speak and act from our personal ground zero. If these events teach us anything it is the imperative to see them in context of each other; that the treatment of wolves and the wild is inextricably tied to the treatment of women. I'll be writing more about this. Thanks for emailing me, Carol ... and asking that I post this.

  5. Women and the wild yet again standing at ground zero. I read you and feel it in my blood. This is not just words Christina, this is YOU. Outside naked is who you are. And I’m proud to be your sister.

    1. Wolves are shy creatures. I keep returning to those two standing by the side of the road as you and I gazed back at them. How they look inquisitively, as if seeking communion, before running off. This has been my experience with every wild encounter I have had. The wild seeking communion, for those with eyes to see; spirits to enfold. Humble thanks, Carole

  6. From Pari: I tried to add my comment to your blog page but the comment page would never load. You are welcome to add it. I would be honored.You have described so beautifully how I have been feeling lately. Even going back to my youthful years, I have always felt strongly about the wolf. I rejoiced when they were returned to Yellowstone. My personal library is full of books about wolves, both scientific and spiritual. So the recent increase in hunting in Montana, Idaho and Alaska bothers me a great deal. As a biologist, I disagree with hunting predators. Maybe the only way I could accept it is if the human hunter had nothing more than his natural weapons, just as the wolf or bear or lion or coyote or.... does. One on one.

    Then there is the attack on women. We are like the wolf. We are misunderstood, un-accepted for who we are, not allowed to live as we see fit.

    I took a nice walk today, finally able to walk on my old snowshoe trail with hiking shoes. I can feel and smell the earth awakening.