Eleventh Day of Epiphany: the Woodward–and Inversnaid

The Woodward, the Wildwood Tarot.
The Woodward, from the Wildwood Tarot.

The Woodward, from the Wildwood Tarot, presents a version of the Strength card that I absolutely love. Rather than a woman taming a lion, we have a fierce-looking hunter joining a lynx. The whole card has a feel that is not tame, but rather suggests comrades-in-arms, support of and embracing that which is wild. It makes me think of the poem Inversnaid, by Gerard Manley Hopkins (a poem I had to memorize for Introduction to Poetry class with Professor Franz Schneider, at Gonzaga University back in 1987!):


THIS darksome burn, horseback brown,
His rollrock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth         5
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,         10
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;         15
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Rather than tell you what this means to me, I’d like to instead ask:

  • What that is wild will you embrace in 2016?
  • How will you support and nurture the wilderness outside?
  • How will you support and nurture the wilderness inside you?

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