where the wild things go

hiding place
on a recent drive, a friend asked me whether i’d rather live in the city or the country. i dithered a bit because i think i wouldn’t like the isolation of living way out in the middle of nowhere, but i don’t think i’d like the constant crowds, dirt, lights and noise of a big city, either. driving down to southeast kansas over the fourth of july made me realize i need to be somewhere i can see the sky … someplace there are grass and trees and flowers and things are wild.

i love the excitement and fascination of the city, and i love the quaint charm of little country towns. the suburbs are comfortable, but don’t always give you a sense of belonging. where do the wild things go?

not that i appear to be particularly wild in the common meaning of the word. every once in a while, however, i have an anxious longing to cease being safe. it feels like needing to inhale deeply after a long spate of shallow breathing. i could be not safe, unafraid. i could get so much that’s so good done that way, i imagine.

but this collection of labels i have — “safe, “predictable,” “slow-moving,” “change-resistant” — they all tell me i’m not really a wild thing. they say i just want to be one because other people are. maybe so. i’ve wanted to be plenty of things that i’ve admired in other people.

i want to be a flame. are flames safe?