For the Unforgiven

Standing alone in the wilderness, a wild unfettered mesquite entangled, cactus-mazed, sand and caliche llano; barren and hot with cruelty and love, pleasure and pain, even in the frozen wild. It is not surprising that one looks very little to the problem of boundaries. A wilderness brooks no boundaries.
When we live outside of boundaries all our life . . . . the only borders you’ve ever had were those created with kindred souls–innocent that respect was supposed to mean to recognize each other’s limits when all they ever saw was each other’s infinite opening; the interplay between love and friendship, soul and heart, laughter and the summer’s day. The connections we made recognized no limits to each other . . . When we were young, unconstrained by adulting, we lived the precept of “unconditonal positive regard”.
We are not afraid of the wilderness if we lived in it and it was home. It served us well.
Until we encounter the damage brought on by life’s inevitable disappointments. Without preparation for the outcome, we live in damage and strive to repair with only our wits to survive.
If you lived a long time in the wilderness , the “wild heart of the young” just never ages. It can be our doom.
We are all either too strong or too vulnerable not to help each other to stay whole. And being strong requires you to be vulnerable. The wilderness also brooks no compassion, no fairness.
Forgiveness and belonging requires someone . . .else.
Not all boundaries are bad; nor is it true that respecting the ones we all impose upon ourselves is unimportant.We cannot meld into each other and maintain the strength to be who we are. Nature abhors vacuums as much as it may fear it’s inevitable descent into entropy. None of us is full or filled, so, we cannot be us, or we, without marking where we begin and where we. . . may cede to others’ necessary wholeness.
When we meet, and see each other, we must strive to build new boundaries, create rather than stop at each other’s walls or precipices. Love is an element that does not speak in boundaries; at least not well.
Boundaries always presume fear–some of us too strong, some too damaged, others not ready–under the misperception that walling in will prevent hatred, pain, and suffering. Such prevention can become a “kill box” if we’re not careful.
Respecting boundaries may preclude “true belonging” if made in fear of love. Love may become a casualty if boundaries are kept unchanged; to protect a heart overlong exposed to pain and trial; to filter caring and desire, the need to connect, as meaning to disrespect limits. Heart walls are long in constructing, unbreakable from without and sorely misguided to try and scale.
Love is about crossing barriers, boundaries, limits; not to immerse oneself into another, but to gain trust. And to gain trust we must let each other in. . .
When two hearts are starved–aboriginals living in the scarcity of an unforgiving history–it should not surprise us that perceptions and instincts to survive serve as our only guide. We find ourselves unprepared to meet an equally wild heart living in an equally barren desert with so little love. Not the love we naturally acquire in having and raising children, who love us unconditonally but can only do so because they are dependent on us for so long. Not the love of family, conditional upon our desire to be the same, within a boundary. No, it is the love that comes when two hearts see each other and that comes so sparsely. Sometimes then, the boundaries, the fears, the walls, make our sight unbearably opaque.
It may not be true for those who found protection from the wilderness. Or entered it with good fortune on their side; finding a kindred heart, having a loving childhood, or at least one protected from the scarcity of an unknowing, thereby unforgiving universe.
This song is for the unforgiven, the lonely hearts in the wilderness with only our desire to be seen.
For us we remain in hope. We cannot give up. To give up is to let go of love. To die would be a mercy.
It’s an unforgiving land. But you learn.
Maybe Braving the wilderness, means to walk alone. And watch. For a time.

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