We had many occasions for celebration in 2016. From the release of our brand new Animal Spirit Deck + Guidebook in May to the triumphant return of The Wild Unknown Tarot in November, 2016 was one of the most creative and expansive years in The Wild Unknown's history.
But we also had a lot of pain: the loss of zeitgeist-defining musicians and artists like David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen cut deep, with each of their sudden departures seeming to coincide with various new darknesses to engage.
As always, we turn toward art for sustenance. And this time, we're letting the poets lead the way back to hope. Here are the poems that got us through 2016 — and here's to finding more hope, more creativity, and more transformation in the year ahead.
The TWU Staff
And therefore when you sleep, you are alone in your dreaming,
and running freely through the corridors
of one dream only, which belongs to you.
Oh never let them come to steal our dreams,
never let them entwine us in our bed.
Let us hold on to the shadows
to see if, from our own obscurity,
we emerge and grope along the walls,
lie in wait for the light, to capture it,
till, once and for all time,
it becomes our own, the sun of every day.
— Pablo Neruda
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
Now is the time. Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God? Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
with veracity and love. Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
That this is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace. Now is the season to know
That everything you do
so you can be free
The Wind, One Brilliant Day
The wind, one brilliant day, called
to my soul with an odor of jasmine.
'In return for the odor of my jasmine,
I'd like all the odor of your roses.'
'I have no roses; all the flowers
in my garden are dead.'
'Well then, I'll take the withered petals
and the yellow leaves and the waters of the fountain.'
the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:
'What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?'
— Antonio Machado
Now That I'm Older
It's different now I think
I wasn't older yet
I wasn't wise, I guess
Somewhere I lost whatever else I had
I wasn't over you
I see it run inside itself
And then I called you out
I'm not such older than I was
I'm feeling so much righter now
And then I woke myself, confused
Your dress comes down
To you, don't get it wrong, don't get excited
I wanted so much to be at rest
Now that I'm older
So be it so of love
— Sufjan Stevens