To speak of gestation and creativity and birthing as being integral to advent is to speak of the wild as well.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her classic work Women Who Run with the Wolves, talks about pregnancy as a door to wildness and wildness as a mark of authenticity. “For some women, this vitalizing ‘taste of the wild’ comes during pregnancy.” Maybe this is why Mary’s Magnificat is as wild as it is.
Wildness, says Estes, also arrives during nursing, or during “the miracle of changing oneself as one raises a child, during attending to a love relationship as one would attend to a beloved garden.”
She tells us about the deeper issues that are important to women and that psychology often ignores. Issues such as “the archetypal, the intuitive, the sexual and cyclical, the ages of women, a woman’s way, a woman’s knowing, her creative fire.” All this is included in the Wild Woman archetype.
When she uses the world “wild,” she is not using it
…in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life—one in which the criatura, creature, has innate integrity and healthy boundaries.
Wild and Woman go together she feels such that all women recognize it:
No matter by which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the words wild and woman intuitively.
Estes speaks eloquently of the wildness of creativity, a passage I happily included in my book on Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet: She is
…patroness to all painters, writers, sculptors, dancers, thinkers, prayermakers, seekers, finders—for they are all busy with the work of invention and that is the Wild Woman’s main occupation. As in all art, she resides in the guts, not in the head….She is the one who thunders after injustice.
Thomas Berry also recognizes the wild as being at the heart of all creativity among all the creatures of the Earth when he says:
Wildness we might consider as the root of the authentic spontaneity of any being. It is that wellspring of creativity whence comes the instinctive activities that enable all living beings to obtain their food, to find shelter, to bring forth their young: to sing and dance and fly through the air and swim through the depths of the sea. This is the same inner tendency that evokes the insight of the poet, the skill of the artist and the power of the shaman.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations, pp. 282, 281, 285
And Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet, pp. 152, 42.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you recognize wildness as a “wellspring of creativity” to be found among all creatures? And as coming through pregnancy and through works of art? What follows from that?
Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet
Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow. Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Living in Sin