Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote Women Who Run With Wolves.

If you’ve read it you know this woman takes us along the edges of something real & raw & magnificent. She reminds us how we are wild side creatures, if we only reach out & touch. That. Wild side.

In our busy lives, in this reality of schedules & parking meters & packing lunches we might easily forget that we have legs meant to run and skip and walk and dance. The quickened corners of us get wedged between credit cards in plastic sleeves.

Wightman, what are you talking about THIS time?

We are weird animals: naked & questioning & scared.

I’m fully clothed, thank you very much.

Sometimes we find our happiness for a little while. Some of us stop & do a little meditation  – that works a teeny bit. Some of us falter & fall to drink or shopping or too much food or starving. Maybe its simple. Maybe all of us need to own that we are August grapes ripening, clouds skittering, newborn babies in a vast cosmos of star dust & change.


A few of us are special; part of the Scar Clan. My deepest respect to all women who have suffered & loved & actually thrived through suffering. As we live, the hurts add up: the train wrecks, losses, disappointments, regrets & lies.

Speak for yourself, I’m not a liar!

We survive the people who love us & leave us. Some take years to leave, some go suddenly, but none leave without a mark.

On us.

The scars we collect never go away – that’s why they’re scars. On the outside we might appear ‘happy’, but inside we walk with an emotional limp. Those damn scars just never go away.

Maybe they don’t have to.

Last week I had the honor of sitting with a broken friend who told me things so painful they bubbled up & over & out his carefully pressed shirt. His pain left his eyes leaking.

Just write ‘crying’. He was crying, for God’s sake.

My friend refuses to accept his scars. Wants them gone.

But learning to live with scars, to accept them & love them even…now that’s a choice. We can all look at our scars & cradle them, soft, like a precious baby. We can tell them they made us who we are. We can croon how our scars give us a patina & remind them how much they’re loved now & always. Loving our own scars is one of the hardest things many of us will ever do.

Want those scars. We don’t need to be victims, no, but we do have to hug our scars & accept them. As Rosie Fudge says in Life as a Pomegranate : Not bragging or complaining, but I sure do love my broken bits.

The scars are a map of Who We Were. They guide us to the land of Who We ARE & (with any luck) that glorious country: Who We Will Be.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls scarred woman : She Who is Still Standing.

Thank you, CPE…thanks for including me in your club. I can’t run with wolves, but I can walk with dogs. I’ll glow, knowing I’m in good company.

Love you, friend,


No idea what you were trying to say. Good bye. 



One response »

  1. Joel, I so glad you read the words. I try hard in this blog to voice my truth, and it is refreshing to read someone’s else’s opinion, even if it involves disagreement. Thank you and hope you subscribe.

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