I remember the day of your birth. You were the wild one. Somehow I knew this, and in giving birth to you I wanted nothing more than to surrender completely to the wildness within me, your fluttering bird-beating heart so close to mine, entwined by a purple pulsating cord. I went into the place all women know when they let themselves know it, the place of deep surrender. To the nurses this looked like screaming and they shushed me, afraid that the wildness — yours and mine — would frighten the woman across the hall who did not yet know of thundering horse’s hooves and the scimitar drumbeat of the artist that touches quivering souls.
Never forget the artist that dwells within you. I see her in your eyes, a deep passionate woman birthing herself into being beneath the eyes of a teenager. I know this woman, this You that you are fast becoming. She stands on a mountaintop on the bones of our ancestors and she cries a warrior cry, raises a warrior fist to the world, and dreams vast wide dreams as big as oceans.
Drink my blood now, breathe my breath, feel my heart beat. It’s all inside you, all the wildness and all the passion of the hundred generations that came before you. Your next step and your next take you far and away, off to lands of scrubby live-oak trees and brown-gold hills. I know this. I have seen it. You have dreamed it. You will live it.
Take flight now, my beauty. One enormous breath and then — aloft! — you soar, floating on your dreams, high over mountains and rivers and verdant valleys mapped into your destiny. You will sail vast oceans and plumb salty depths. You will mirror people’s souls in celluloid, flickering ghosts splayed dancing across vast white screens while audiences shiver and gasp with self recognition. You will find heartbeats that match yours in tune and depth and intensity, and bask in the tribe that gathers around you, knowing you, reflecting you.
With your tribe you will find strength in numbers. Together you will change how we look at ourselves and how we interact with one another, a wrenching but much-needed 180 turn toward heart and connection and sharing that felt about as close as Pluto did when I was your age, but is now within reach because of you and your tribe.
My advice to you, not that you need advice now, is to open that glorious wild-beating heart of yours and let its blinding brilliance light the world. Take the tremulous step-that-becomes-a-lifelong-leap. Let people see into you. Shine your light and do what scares you, not because I am telling you that your life will be better, richer, happier, and way more fun if you do but because in your deep wild heart you know that your path is inevitable, and to deny your path now means that you deny the world your brilliance.
Don’t do that to us. We need you and we need your wild ways.
We need your fumbling footsteps carved into sure steady feet that leave footprints upon our hearts. We need your deep soulful longing dreams. We need your passion, your subversive humor, your to-the-heart dialog, and your endless questioning soul. We need your doubts, your vision, and your rebel perspective. We need all that you are to see ourselves that much more clearly. You hold a mirror to the world and we need to see and know our reflection to know ourselves that much more profoundly.
We need you, and we’re counting on you. The wildness of you. The whole of you. The heart of you. Jump, my beauty. I believe in you.