A wild thing does not require terrible teeth, terrible eyes, and terrible claws to be wild. A wild thing is an inimitable thing; it is a unique and enduring thing. A wild thing can only be imagined at; a wild thing is what we tell bedtime stories about. A wild thing is what you wish, but not what you want. A wild thing is never there, but is always with you. A wild thing is what never was, but will always be.
So, where are they? An exotic tropical island beyond a turbulent ocean populated with sea monsters and jagged rocks? Or are they simply found on the underside of a childhood bed? Wild things are in that special place; behind that special door that no one else can open for you. “But wait”, you sputter from the steaming sips of your morning coffee, “what is so great about being wild, anyway?” Being wild is being inquisitive. To be wild is to be a skeptic who also believes in every fairytale. “But I like who I am, I am proud of what I have achieved,” you add on your way out the door, “why would I want to change the successful person I have become?” Being wild isn’t a transformation or even a mutation; it is an augmentation, an evolution. The wolf suit cannot move without a person inside, you have to be the person to give a wild thing life. Be a version of yourself you have always wanted to be.
A wolf suit is a wonderful thing. It is awesome, empowering, and invisible. You can wear a wolf suit to work for your presentation, on your first date with someone whom you really like, or even when you’re helping your children with their homework. Wear a wolf suit at the movie theater, in the car, at the gym, in the library, and in your imagination. Be courageous, be daring, be bold. A wolf suit is a wonderful thing. Try it on, I bet it’s just your size.
Happy birthday, Maurice Sendak. Thank you for being the wolf you wanted to be.