On Being Wild: Things I Learned from Max

“In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place…” –Oscar Wilde

These are some things I learned at a young age while the seeds of heroes germinated in my heart and in my mind. I call it the Great Before. Before I had the knowledge that there were real people involved in the creation of myths. Before my imagination became cultivated

For you, Maurice.

Occurring, growing, or living in a natural state; not domesticated, cultivated, or tamed.

Max was the only monster that wasn’t nude. He had to wear a suit to be a monster. The illusion was so perfect they made him their king. Maybe it is better to live naturally, to untame the primped lives we lead.

Not inhabited or farmed: remote, wild country.

Take a walk down a street you’ve never been. Try a new food. Try a new form of transportation, like sailing. You never know what adventures you might encounter when you disrupt the ordered rows of our lives.

Uncivilized or barbarous; savage.

No need to skip a meal, but maybe try eating with your fingers for one. Eat a turkey leg at the fair. Roar in your backyard as loud as you can. Run as fast as you can and leap at an oncoming wave to scare it back into the ocean. Dance loudly all night.

Lacking supervision or restraint: wild children living in the street.

Question authority. If you do not, you might not ever learn a thing. Strike out on your own. Suffer the consequences. Accept your punishment. Apologize. Be forgiven. Experience the joy of unconditional love with a warm bowl of soup and a note from Mom.

Disorderly; unruly: a wild scene

Now and again, enjoy a wild rumpus. With your friends or with complete strangers that put you on a pedestal. Don’t forget to forget where you are once in a while. Maybe even who. Change it up.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/wild-rumpus-maurice-sendak-congregation-beth-elohim-park-slope_n_1501162.html

Characterized by a lack of moral restraint; dissolute or licentious:

Get Lost. Be angry. Yell. Get red in the face. Evolution dictates a certain tithe of pain for all its benefits. But, it also created love in the process as a salve for live’s great sadnesses.

Lacking regular order or arrangment; disarranged: wild locks of long hair.

Wear mis-matching socks, or a full costume. Go to a masquerade. Mix things up. Grow your hair out. Shave it off. Grow a beard in November and a mustache in March. Let the mess on your desk build for a week. Take a picture so you remember that not all costumes are worth wearing.

Full of, marked by, or suggestive of strong, uncontrolled emotion:

Fall in love. Miss the ones we’ve lost. They would want us to move on. Bawl like Sally Field in Steel Magnolias. Lose yourself in a candy store. Run naked across an open field. Bungee jump off a bridge in New Zealand. You’ll be back to your old self in no time.

Extravagant; fantastic: a wild idea.

Don’t forget the Great Before. The things we learned there are probably the most important. If you missed out on a few, it’s never to late to learn something new. If you need to, practice the ones you haven’t done in a while. After all, practice makes perfect.

And so on, and so forth.

Things do not end. Stories continue after you put the book down. Did you ever read an amazing story and then try retelling it to one of your like-minded friends? The Great Before allows us to tell stories poorly as long as we tell them with enthusiasm.

Did you save a favorite book from childhood and reread it to one of your children? Or buy a new edition for their birthday? Because the other was too faded or worn? Or because you wanted to hold onto that one piece of the Great Before as your own, and they could have their own?

A man’s life of storytelling cut short is not ended if we continue to enjoy his life’s work. Read your favorite today. Share it with your loved ones young and old. Continue the cycle. Honor the Great Before. Honor one of the men that made this wild time possible. Honor Maurice by being wild, even if only for a day.

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