Rage, Love, God & Red-Tailed Hawks


All the fear has left me now
I’m not frightened anymore
It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
It’s my mouth that pushes out this breath
And if I shed a tear I won’t cage it
I won’t fear love
And if I feel a rage I won’t deny it
I won’t fear love.
~Sarah McLachlan

Okay. I admit it. Here. To you. Now.

I… am in love with… God.

I know, I know. The ‘G’ word scares people.

I could say Spirit, the Sacred, the Divine, the Universe, Nature. I have and I do and I will.

But, something in me melts when I acknowledge I am in love with God. This isn’t the love I always thought love was; it’s the deep humility and awe I feel each time I experience the love and grace available to me when I’m stumbling out of my own distractedness, and ‘fumbling towards ecstasy‘.

Even as I write the word God here, and share it with you, I can feel old thoughts and feelings of fear creep across my mind. Old feelings brought about by a system that turned God into something I felt I had to fear, because if I didn’t, I would find myself in some bad kinda way.

Last night, Jeff and I went to Inspiration point in Tilden Park, here in the Berkeley hills. We went to mark the Solstice, the longest day of the year, by sitting in nature. You know, the nature that is hills, trees, birds, sun, wind, moon. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to go spend time in nature”, as if somewhere I’ve forgotten I am nature, you’re nature, we’re all nature.

We found a bench where the view didn’t quite catch the sun setting, but we could see its orange glow spreading out across Mt. Tam and the Golden Gate.

From our spot, I breathed in the scent of the wild.

Two red-tail hawks, life mates, followed each other from tree top to tree top. Each time they sang out their tell-tale ‘Screeeee’, and each mate responded to the other, something in me also responded, as if I were also being called by this wild, untamable force that moves both the red-tail and me.

A gopher, close by to my right foot, chewed vigorously on the long grass, causing it (the grass) to disappear down into the earth. She was chewing with such intensity, such wild ferocity.

As the sun set, the slighty-over-a-half moon glowed intensely against the deep blue almost-night sky.

Something stirred deep within me. It always does when I open to the wild forces, the wilderness that we really live in…and that lives us. I am wild and feral, even though so much of my personality was created to keep this bit of reality away from my conscious awareness. After all, if I remember how wild I really am, what will I do? What kind of trouble will I create? What kind of joy might I know? What kind of emptiness and ecstasy might I fumble into? What kind of rage might I feel and express?

This wilderness is God. I know my old fears of a mean, sitting in a throne man, are the lies I was told. This wilderness out there, and in here, are God. This wild and woolly force, which is completely unknowable and yet totally available,  is God. This life force pulsing through my veins is God. It is powerful. It is fierce. It is loving.

I can’t say I don’t fear it or that I’m not frightened of it anymore. In fact, the opposite is true. The wilderness scares the bejeebers out of me. But this fear is not the fear I was taught about God. This fear is not about my sinfulness, my automatic ticket to hell simply because I am human…and female to boot.

This fear is that heart-thumping, breath-catching feeling when you know you’re being called to step into the wilderness within, that fullest place of empty that awaits.

This fear comes from my remembrance of wild, of passion, of unleashing. This wild has nothing to do with pretending to be an over-sexed psuedo-goddess that lives to please others. This wild will never be tamed. It can’t be tamed. This wild knows tears and rage. It doesn’t deny them.

This wild is calling me to know the tears and rage that remain buried deep in this body. It is calling me to know the shame and humiliation. It is calling me to know the love and the power that waits, just under the darkest of dark emotions.

All of this, all of everything, all of nothing is God. And even then, I don’t have a clue as to what God is. I just know the love.

And, you?

There is much rage hidden in women’s bodies.

Do you feel rage? Do you deny tears? Do you fear this wildness? Do you fear love?

And, if you are a man?

What can you share about rage? About the wilderness? About your own fear of tears?

I’d love to know…

This post on Wilderness is part of Dian Reid’s blog challenge, as well as Bindu Wiles #215800 blog challenge.

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8 Replies to “Rage, Love, God & Red-Tailed Hawks”

  1. Smack dab in the middle of the struggle to heal the split – mind/body, masculine/feminine, spirituality/sexuality — and recognizing that every practice from my birth-righted tradition leads me back to an image of God I cannot embrace — you drop these (magical, mystical, deep, profound, holy) words.

    Oh my God…

  2. Renae,
    I love that something here spoke to you. You are holy. magical. mystical. deep and profound. And love, you are love. and loved.

  3. wow. this is stunning, julie. and yes, i fear rage, i fear love and i hide tears, but not so much as in the past. it’s a journey that i’m willingly taking. thanks for the encouragement that you share, here and elsewhere.

  4. i love the word “wild” – especially as you write about it here. and “dangerous”, that’s a favorite words of mine, too. god? there’s a lot of baggage in that word for me, and i’m not sure i’m woman enough to get past it. “goddess” won’t do. it sounds too much like a patronizing substitute. but when you write about “god” here, i say “yes, yes” aloud as i’m reading. i want to get here, julie. i’m in this conversation with you – honored, delighted, thrilled to be in this conversation with you. and i want to go back to the notion that this is god. it’s what i believed as a child before organized religion took its toll. i shoved this notion that god is this wildness, this abandon, this indescribable power into a box and put it on a shelf in the deepest corner of my basement. i had to.

    but i also had to hold onto it, if only by just the thinnest thread. over the years my tiny, grubby little hand continued to fiercely hold onto that thread, unrolling that spool that magically never became bare.

    but now, after all i’ve been through, after all i now know – or think i know – can i call it god? can i find that box in my basement, remove the spool and replace it with the intense anger i still feel at organized religion for, well, you know?

    i don’t know. i just don’t know.

    but you, my darlin julie, you at least have me looking for the box.

  5. I had such a wild adventure with wilderness last week, I am grateful your post reminded me of it. Wow. I am still processing it, the wonder of it, and yes. There is such a God quality in those moments. I would be honored if you would read my post.

    You know what paradoxical feminine wildness called me today? The wildness that said, “I can be a feminist and a completely girly-over-the-top princessy-romantic-girly-girl.” I got a dress in the mail I had ordered off ebay for a play I am in and I prayed it would be “ok” – well, when I got it, I cried. It was so much more than ok. It is beautiful. The palest, girliest, newbornish pink. Incredible bell sleeves, soft – soft fabric. I am almost afraid to wear it, it is that pretty except it is comfortable as well… I am more afraid to look at my reflection in it, as if I won’t be pretty enough in my nakedness to honor the dress?

    I was afraid of the powerful emotions that came in touching the dress. I slid it on, over my jeans of all things and I reveled in it, but I wasn’t ready to look at myself in the mirror. When my Director asked me, “Are you going to wear it tonight?” I made an excuse because I am just not ready to be inside it publicly yet.

    It feels so intimate and yet, it isn’t risque at all. It is old fashioned and graceful. So soft and feminine.

    There isn’t rage here, there is a soft hush and a holding. An awe. Just like I felt when I encountered the river and the bunnies out in nature last week at sunset. You’ll read it when you hop over (I hope) to my blog.

    And I think I have some more writing and living the question to do.


  6. This is so beautiful, Julie. Your writing resonates with a place deep in my wildest Sophia heart. Thank you.

    We are on a similar journey, aren’t we?

  7. I always have to sit with your posts, because they touch something so deep inside me. So I will sit with it’s beauty, and take it all in – like a slow sweet breath that feeds straight into my heart.

    And yes I fear the wildness – Absofreakinlutley!

  8. Well, goodness, Julie. I see myself on a similar spiritual journey, but you are walking in front of me. My strongest fear, however, is not being wild, but to trust that God created me that way and that God loves me that way.

    Thank you for this today.

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