The Wild in Us

The Wild in Us is a collection of ten erasure poems by Marika Moffitt. The poems are inspired by the artist's own experiences of navigating through and finding wonder within personal and collective grief.

The Wild in Us

When I was a young girl, I found a robin lying down in the sand near a fencepost. She was quiet, and her body barely moved. Her tiny orange breast languished with every breath. Her eyes blinked slowly. I didn't know what had happened - she may have flown into the large picture window of the house. Then tried to take flight only to fall to the ground in this spot. I will never know for sure.

I was only a child, but I understood that she was dying. I sat there watching her with a familiar ache in my heart. One of knowing, of longing. I wanted to save her, to ease her pain, but I couldn't. All I could do was be there with her through the end. And so I sat there with her, until she took her last breath.

That bird is like my grief. There is no saving it. There is only sitting with it, and witnessing the life within it.

I make art as part of my journey living with grief. Not to save myself from it, but to allow my grief to save me from myself. To save me from closing off from the wonder of the depths of sorrow and longing. To save me from forgetting my own wildness. And to save me from never truly living.

In the wake of the deaths of my grandparents, my grief surfaced to do its work. Guiding me through the winter months, and showing me where to reach for comfort, joy, and hope. And helping me return to my wildness.

This poetry collection, The Wild in Us, is the result of this piece of my journey.

To access a larger view of the digital version of The Wild in Us, click the full screen icon on the window above, or click here to go directly to the digital flip book.

I have always loved poetry, and consider it to live not only through words but also in everything we do. Grief and joy and love are quite possibly the greatest poets of all. Without them, we cannot learn to express our own experiences through art, whether that be in the form of poetry, painting, music, photography, or whatever you're called to create.

A note on the creative process.

In this collection of ten erasure poems, I used a formal system of constraint in which I created poems using only the text available on the page. The text surrounding the words I selected for each poem was "erased" using watercolor paints. This process enabled each poem to stand out from the page, becoming a new piece of art. The poems use as a source, Charles Darwin's, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication: Volume Two.


A printed version of The Wild in Us.

The Wild in Us is my first collection of poems. These pieces are only the beginning of a creative journey I hope to live in for a very long time. Finding these words to express my grief, wonder, and wildness gave me freedom to be present in my life as it is. Not to wish for it to be any different, but to be in it with my whole heart. This is the hope in art - to return us to the wild of ourselves.

And to set us free.

All my love, always.

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About the artist

Marika Moffitt is an artist and storyteller focused on expressing the spirit of dogs through photography. As the owner of SoulDog Creative in Washington state, Marika helps clients throughout the Pacific Northwest to honor their journeys with their Soul Dogs with one-of-a-kind artwork. Full of life and movement, Marika’s photographs touch deep within the heart of what it means to live the journey with the dogs we love.

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