Seeking Authenticity by Kester Reid

Read Kester Reid's piece, 'Stream', listed for the Wild Words Competition, here:

To write, I seek to experience authentically – unexpectantly, and unhurriedly. I respect every being and every force as something alive with a present power to animate our shared reality. I await their messages, their teachings. To express such experience is impossible. To integrate it is my only goal. To reflect and write about it is to explore it again, to explore its essence, and share it perhaps. Poetry is the most honest way for me to do that. I go back there and look again, with words.

My piece for the Wild Words competition ‘Stream’, began as a journal entry during my time living amongst the Achuar tribe of the Western Amazon. For some years I have been drawn to this particular tropical wilderness, and into tribal realities. The isolation, both cultural and physical, of such experiences, taught me a huge amount about myself and my cultural mode of experiencing. Wild forests and native friends taught me a more natural way, a more human way.

Stillness and observation are critical aspects of an indigenous lifestyle. Cultivating these practices, and states, is vital to noticing the intricacies of the world around me – in order to thrive, physically and spiritually. Such a mode is a survival tool, but also the gateway to recognising the beauty and mystery of the world, which is a momentary happening to which I am integral, which pulses heavily on the waves of my own breath. I recognise the power of natural forces, the creativity there, and the mystery. And suddenly, everything is alive, so alive – as alive as me. This intuition that my experience of consciousness is a marvel not unique to my own species is deeply connective – it makes me humble before the Great Mystery, it uplifts me as a part of the Great Mystery.

‘Stream’ began with an experience I never intended to write about. The same curiosity that drew me out to those forests, and down that particular stream, somehow guided me to explore it with words. The root of it all is out under the changing sky, and inside the wild mind. Coming to close to the Earth, and all Nature, our nature. The rest is just reading and writing and honing – becoming more honest, more open, more honest.

I am pleased to be connected to the Wild Words circle. Thank you."