Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the author of “Women Who Run With The Wolves,” shared an exercise on Facebook last week that’s been haunting me, in a good way. It was about having women in her seminars write the autobiography of their voice. The exercise is a way to use story, fairytale, and animal totems to access the wildness of our nature. To access the voice of our deepest, most authentic self that has wisdom to share and is brave enough to attempt to put into words aspects of our soul that are beyond language. After I read her post, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So this week in writers group I decided to see what would come up when I let my wild-nature speak.
The Autobiography of My Voice
The new moon covered the sun in a partial eclipse the night she was born. Her name meant spirit, or queen, or water sprite depending on who you asked. She could still remember her time as a stone being, an elemental water creature and most vividly as a snake…. repeatedly shedding her skin as she moved up the evolutionary ladder. From that time of soft hissing her voice began to emerge. At first she used it to cry out warnings or to attract a mate, but as a mocking jay she learned the pure joy of vocalizing and dancing in the forest. As a she-wolf she merged into a stronger, primal place howling and panting and moaning her pleasures. She remembered spending a good long while chattering and screeching high in the trees as a howler monkey. She worked everything out loudly and abrasively so she could be heard above the other primates. Gladly she finally was able to move on from this intensely loud marathon to find her voice as a lioness. Now she was mostly in a hushed state, or purring deeply with her mate or her cubs. And then came her roar. A thrilling rush of air and power from deep in her belly. Joy returned in the oceans. As a dolphin her voice was an extension of her intelligence and her connection to the moon and the spirit walkers. She knew she was a bridge between the animals, the humans and the star beings… but very few had hearts free enough to understand her messages. As whale her deep calling held ancient stories and records of future opportunities. But most beautiful of all was when her voice had no sound. In the bioluminescent collective the communication-as-communion occurred through light and patterns as the harmonic hum of the universe sighing.
© Cheryl Schirillo-Johnson 2014