There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man less, but nature more.
- Lord Byron
When was the last time you screamed at the top of your lungs? On the bus, car, dwelling, or out in the streets? Probably not recently. It's unfortunate that gyms don't have an offshoot soundproof room dedicated to screaming. Think about it. If you could walk into a room with a giant picture of a lion (or whatever), snarling, and beckoning for a reaction, would you scream at it? How good would it feel, either as a warm up, or a cool down. A pump up, or release. A war cry going into battle, or the shout of victory at the end.
Primal therapy, although sounding like "bro science", is an actual method utilized in trauma-based (and predictably), psychotherapy. It was created by Arthur Janov, and became popular for a brief time in the 1970's after his publication of, The Primal Scream. Others refer to it as scream therapy, and has been rumoured to be used by actors such as, Angelina Jolie, and advocated by musician/philosopher, John Lennon. After reading the book, I couldn't stop thinking about screaming. If I wasn't singing at the top of my lungs in the shower, then I was pretty much quiet all day. I hadn't screamed out loud in far too long, and screaming into a pillow, or the underwater scream therapy seemed too restrictive, and unnaturally ridiculous.
My search was for something that seemed more natural, and not forced. Instead, bubbling up from the cockles of my paleomammalian brain. I pondered this while sitting watching a thunderstorm from the safety of my balcony. The rain beat down so hard, I couldn't hear anything else, but its impact. A streak of lightening broke not too far from my apartment, and the thundering boom of the compression waves ripped through my eardrums, scaring the shit out of me. For an irrational moment, I wanted to yell back at it. Then the epiphany came flooding in. The next storm would be my time to yell back, and I plotted my revenge.
It was a hot stormy day. The kind of humid heat that could plaster you to a leather couch. I love it. The humidity brings out all the wonderful smells of the forest, and I was bound for it. What drew me to the forest on that stormy day was my plan of action with a deep down beating of a Jumanji drum, begging for attention, and tantalizing me with rebellious rapture. So, I jumped in the car with board shorts, a change of clothes, and a towel. I knew what I was supposed to do. I was going to run through the Gatineau forest half naked in the the thunderstorm.
When I pulled up to the empty parking lot at Luskville Falls the rain continued to beat down, and the thunder cracked loudly. Running through the up-hill trail, climbing higher up the falls, I couldn't help but feel like a wild man. Naked, and fragile to the elements, but defiant with an electric mindset; I bolted to the top of the falls. Perching on the edge of a boulder, I stared out into the angry open sky, the water rushing past me, the rain throwing down, muffling all other sounds with only the thunder breaking through. I stood up, and extended my arms wide, sucking in deep air, and let out a scream I had never heard from myself before (I say, myself, because I experienced a homeless guy do this on a bus, once). Not a nasally, high pitched shriek (like my homeless friend), but a deep, angry justice roar!
We are usually within ears reach of the public's scrutiny, and screaming at the top of our lungs is a faux pas, at best, and may present the wrong type of attention. The title of this therapy set the scene, and it felt pretty damn primal. Yelling into the storm, I felt elated, even more elevated, to a frequency of jubilant defiance. It seemed to brew up from the very fibre of my being. And there it was; somewhere between the thunder, and the roar; I found myself. Or part of myself. The thunder was in me.
Don't wait for moments to present themselves. Create them. It may release more of you then you knew.