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CP Estes: The Wolf's Eyelash

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism,alt.magick,alt.religion.wicca,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.christnet
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: CP Estes: "The Wolf's Eyelash"
Date: 7 Jan 1998 21:56:33 -0800


The Wolf's Eyelash

If you don't go out in the woods, nothing will ever happen
and your life will never begin.

"Don't go out in the woods, don't go out," they said.

"Why not?  Why should I not go out in the woods tonight?" she asked.

"A big wolf lives there who eats humans such as you.  Don't go out in the
woods, don't go out.  We mean it."

Naturally she went out.  She went out in the woods anyway, and of 
course she met the wolf, just as they had warned her.

"See, we told you," they crowed.

"This is my life, not a fairy tale, you dolts," she said.  "I have 
to go to the woods, and I have to meet the wolf, or else my life 
will never begin."

But the wolf she encountered was in a trap, in a trap this wolf's leg 
was in.

"Help me, oh help me! Aieeeee, aieeee, aieeee!" cried the wolf.  "Help 
me, oh help me!" he cried, "and I shall reward you justly."   For this 
is the way of wolves in tales of this kind.

"How do I know you won't harm me?" she asked--it was her job to ask
questions.  "How do I know you will not kill me and leave me lying in 
my bones?"

"Wrong question," said this wolf.  "You'll just have to take my word 
for it." And the wolf began to cry and wail once again and more.

"Oh, aieee! Aieeee! Aieeee!
There's only one question 
worthy asking fair maiden,
aieeeee th'

"Oh you wolf, I will take a chance.  Alright, here!"  And she 
sprang the trap and the wolf drew out its paw and this she bound 
with herbs and grasses.

"Ah, thank you kind maiden, thank you," sighed the wolf.  And because 
she had read too many of the wrong kind of tales, she cried, "Go 
ahead and kill me now, and let us get this over with."

But no, this did not come to pass.  Instead this wolf put his paw 
upon her arm.

"I'm a wolf from another time and place," said he.  And plucking 
a lash from his eye, he gave it to her and said, "Use this, and 
be wise.  From now on you will know who is good and not so good; 
just look through my eyes and you will see clearly.

For letting me live, 
I bid you live
in a manner as never before.
Remember, there's only one question
worthy asking fair maiden,
aieeeee th'

And so she went back to her village,
happy to still have her life.
And this time as they said,
"Just stay here and be my bride," 
or "Do as I tell you," 
or "Say as I want you to say,
and remain as unwritten upon 
as the day you came,"
she held up the wolf's eyelash
and peered through
and saw their motives
as she had not seen them before.
And the next time 
the butcher weighed the meat,
she looked through her wolf's eyelash
and saw that he weighed his thumb too.
And she looked at her suitor
who said "I am so good for you,"
and she saw that her suitor 
was so good for exactly nothing.
And in this way and more,
she was saved,
from not all,
but from many 

But more so, in this new seeing, not only did she see the sly and 
cruel, she began to grow immense in heart, for she looked at each 
person and weighed them anew through this gift from the wolf she 
had rescued.

And she saw those who were truly kind
and went near to them,
and found her mate
and stayed all the days of her life,
she discerned the brave
and came close to them,
she apprehended the faithful
and joined with them,
she saw bewilderment under anger
and hastened to soothe it,
she saw love in the eyes of the shy
and reached out to them,
she saw suffering in the stiff-lipped
and courted their laughter,
she saw need in the man with no words
and spoke for him,
she saw faith deep in the woman,
who said she had none,
and rekindled hers from her own.
She saw all things
with her lash of wolf
all things true,
and all things false,
all things turning against life
and all things turning toward life,
all things seen only
through the eyes of that
which weighs the heart with heart,
and not with mind alone.

This is how she learned that it is true what they say, that the wolf 
is the wisest of all.  If you listen closely, the wolf in its 
howling is always asking the most important question--not where is 
the next food, not where is
the next fight, not where is the next dance?---
but the most important question 
in order to see into and behind,
to weigh the value of all that lives,
aieeeee th'
aieeeee th'
Where is the soul?
Where is the soul?

Go out in the woods, go out.  If you don't go out in the woods, 
nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.

Go out in the woods,
go out.
Go out in the woods,
go out,
Go out in the woods,
go out.

[Excerpted from "The Wolf's Eyelash," original prose poem by C.P. Estes,
 copyright 1970, from "Rowing Songs for the Night Sea Journey, 
 Contemporary Chants" ... reprinted in _Women Who Run With the 
 Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype_ by Clarissa 
 Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.]


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