On the meaning of being a wild little thing
I was just a little girl, about eight years old when one of my second cousins offered to make me a crocheted Kleenex box cover. “What are your favorite colors?”, she asked me, laughing in her eyes as she looked at me. “Pink and yellow”, I said and a few days later a Kleenex box cover appeared, with scalloped ruffles all around. We were living in my great-grandmother’s house for a month on Emerald Hill Road in Singapore. Great-grandmother, or Chor Chor, we called her, was crocheting round tablecloths with intricate patterns and her two grandchildren from Medan were living in the house while going to school.
Pink and yellow reminds me that not everything primal is tough, brutal, or violent. Sometimes it comes out as a frothy and gaudy decoration for disposable tissue paper!
Family, nurture, gentleness, love, kindness, respect were normal in that house. I won’t say that there were no mistakes, but every mistake became the basis for learning and growing, what I call “compost” that makes our soul richer and more fruitful.
Chor Chor and her delicate, intricate movements as she wove this beautiful symmetrical object out of cotton string, is a reminder of the primal need for detail, for making tiny improvements over and over that evolve into something beautiful.
A wild little thing doesn’t need violence because she notices everything and creates a tiny change that becomes self-defense, protection, income, food and shelter, and so on. A wild little thing creates safety with alertness and agility. And somehow she not only survives, but she can thrive.
Like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, a wild little thing is friends with all the creatures of the jungle. A human being is unique in that it has the ability to befriend any creature, any plant, even the cosmos.
An elephant has a trunk to pick things up with, a dolphin has sonar and a sensitive skin, and a human’s evolutionary feature is our consciousness. Playing with material things is a way to play with our consciousness, and the finer and more detailed our consciousness becomes, the less we require violence to get what we want or need.