To Be Wild

Posted On: 05.24.12

He would want me to be wild.

He was a fisherman. I didn’t fish with him often though now I wish I did, but when I did, when we did go out together, I remember him sitting on the center bench of the green wooden boat. He sat there, glasses slipped to the tip of his nose, hunched over, fierce with focus. He was tying a fly. His own fly. The air was damp with life, with possibility. And he mumbled something Dad-like.

Goddamned prefabs.

He wanted the wild ones. Wild fish that hadn’t been farmed, and stocked. Ones that were maybe smaller, scrappier, not as plump, not as perfect.

This wasn’t just about fishing, about fish.

Even as a girl, I knew this.

I sit here. In my little coffee shop, in my little pond, swimming in words, wild with memory, with clarity, with loss, with love.

I am not perfect. I am not prefabricated.

I am wild. My flesh pink. My thoughts gray.

He would want me to be wild.

And I am.

I just wish he were here to see.


These words were inspired by the one-word prompt over at Trifecta Writing Challenge. I’m not sure how I stumbled on this site, but I’m thrilled I did. If you are looking to spark your own creativity, or simply to find thoughtful words in the vast blogging ether, it seems this is a good place to go.

I was talking to a friend who recently lost his own father and I said to him something that has proven to be true. I told him he will most likely miss his dad at unpredictable times. That the heralded anniversaries and holidays won’t necessarily be the hardest moments. That there will be moments that sneak up and settle, moments when a memory slices through, or a thought alights. Sitting in this coffee shop and pondering wildness – this was one moment for me, and it was one that was both tricky and beautiful. Both. It’s often both, I am learning.


Are you wild? Do you aspire to be? When do you most miss those you have lost?

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15 Comments for: "To Be Wild"
  1. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  2. You should check out the book “Succulent Wild Women” by SARK. It got me painting again. As writers, I believe our creativity thrives off of dabbling in different arts. As SARK says, everyone is a painter.

    I’m checking out the trifecta site now. Sounds like something I’m going to fall in love with. Thank you 🙂

  3. I’m glad that when your father took you fishing he created memories with you that would last. I think that’s every parents responsibility. To give their child a past that’s worth hanging onto – that sets up a foundation which is strong and full of wonder so that when the world is cold and grey and just too much – there will always be memories.

  4. Lovely. This reminds me of how my dad told me when I first graduated from college not to “sell out” when I toyed with taking a traditional/practical route (one that a lot of dads might have steered me towards). I’ll always remember him saying that and appreciate how he encouraged me to be the creative “non-traditional” person that I am – the “wild” person that I am! Thanks, Aidan, for the reminder.

  5. He sees…I promise you, he sees you AND those three “wild spirits” you are raising.

  6. because life is bittersweet, after all…

    a beautiful piece of writing – and he is there, around you… he knows…

    i agree about the holidays and anniversaries… they are ticked off in a way… but it is the unguarded moments, when i walk into the pantry and smell my grandfather… when i look out the kitchen window while i do dishes and know my grandmother looked out this same place so very many times… my heart tugs… i live in my grandparent’s home… my kids and i had to leave a destructive environment quickly – the house was vacant and so we arrived… but i spent my childhood here – with them… and so it is an anchor, they are still anchors – that keep me (and now my kids) sheltered in a loving place…

  7. That’s a lovely sentiment. Your dad sounds like a man with a solid perspective on life.

  8. Love it!!!! My dad loved me too…wild..broken imperfect…there is no such love!!!! Hugs .

  9. This is beautiful. I love “swimming in words”.

  10. The phrase wild with memory is brilliant. Beautiful piece. Thanks for linking up. Please come back tomorrow for the new prompt.

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  12. “I am wild. My flesh pink. My thoughts gray. He would want me to be wild. And I am.”

    I loved these three lines. In reading your closing paragraph, I agree with you that memories do creep up at the most strangest of moments. I can be sitting down not thinking of anything, then all of a sudden, a memory alights of my mother or father out of the blue, putting me in a reflective mood that warms the heart. My parents have been gone for 20 years now and so the memories nowadays do not necessarily bring tears but joy.

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  14. Diane Turner

    Simply magnificent! The lines so visual and stark, are too numerous to single out. Stunning piece of writing.

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