(Poem) White Bear by Sara Wright

Photo credit: Polar Bear © Eric Regeler
Photo credit: Polar Bear © Eric Regeler

She came to me

in a dream

under the shadow of a ripening moon.

Wet fur shining

great paw extended

curved claws

clasping me

from behind.

Fright bound,

I fled.

Hovering over

my shivering body

I watched

sapphires on the run

spinning a crown

over her head.

The space in between

cracked awe and reverence,

above all,

Respect.

 

I felt my heartbeat quicken

as I slipped through

thick fur

the color of eggshells.

The ragged hole

in the Bear’s neck

healed on my return.

We breathed deep

as revelation

struck earthbound feeling.

Right relationship is All.

 

Author’s Note: The poem speaks to the necessity of inhabiting one’s own animal skin in order to be whole, or to be attached to one’s spirit, soul, and instinctual power. These three cannot be separated without women losing their voices and bodies to patriarchy. As children, we are taught to surrender the ancient powers of our animal nature. To reclaim this “Lady of the Beasts” (who in Neolithic cultures is seen as a bear), we need to re-attach ourselves to our animal selves, a journey that, for some women, myself included, may take most of a lifetime.

Unlike the daughters of the Greek Goddess Artemis, we have no rituals that help young women celebrate their “animal nature” before puberty. Our wild selves are tamed before we even know who we are as young girls. Our authentic voices are silenced. As child-women we are objectified; we become cat-like, pussies, or perhaps foxes. As sexualized toy “animal” women, our primary function is to seduce. (The other role acceptable to patriarchy of course is that of the selfless mother who is sentimentalized shamelessly).

This poem also speaks to the importance of re-attaching women to their animal natures for all of nature. As women we are in a unique position to advocate for the Earth because once we are reconnected to the animal within it is impossible not to feel that what has been done to women is being done to Nature, as Susan Griffin so movingly wrote in Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. The dark side of all this is that if we risk feeling, we begin to experience the rape of Nature as our own rape and experiencing that grief can pull us over the edge of despair into overpowering darkness. In my experience, surrendering to that darkness also opens the door to personal healing. With these words I have just closed the circle between women and Nature who are inextricably intertwined and already know in the deepest part of themselves that Right relationship is All.

I chose the polar bear to represent “White Bear” because this animal is so endangered and because bears may be the most ancient animal expression of the goddess in existence.

 

See (Meet Mago Contributor) Sara Wright