I’ve been out walking; and listening; and looking skyward — up through the trees, into the clear blue sky. And what happened there were three ravens, flying at once, over the top of me.
And when the Raven flies, I always stop, quiet in my step, because there’s a character about that bird in flight that is unlike any other. It’s the sound. But today, there was something different in that sound — arching, banking, rushing side-bound, wings vertical, pointing up and down, sky and earth, there was a new rushing, swooshing. And when the Raven flies, it’s different than many other birds — rather than the thrumming of the hummingbird, or the pushing sound of a raptor, or the fluttering of other smaller hatches or the fanning of pigeons, the Raven has a distinct character. It’s a deeper, denser rushing of the air over the wings — and even if there is no croaking call, I can recognize it. And that sound, along with the crackling quality of their speech, I can connect with, anywhere.
And anywhere, I have.
It takes me back. It takes me back to years of exploring the Raven, from wandering the plains of Mongolia, to the noisome streets of Tokyo, the remote temple seclusion of Kyoto, the passes of Tibet, the hot, shimmering mirages of India, the craggy forests of the Cascades, the piney mountain reaches of Bhutan (where they are the national bird), or the streets of Istanbul. I listen for them, watch them. I listen for the wing; and I observe them, as surely they observe me.
It takes me forward. Last night, giving a talk in Miami, (and there are corvids here, too), I spoke of the story. And in speaking of any story, you really tell yours. So I broke this out to the four stories of my self. These are the beginnings, below — the science journals; the early work of the limited edition and handmade; the spirit of the Wanderer, and finally, the Ravens.
That gesture, the early connection with Ravens, was about an encounter in a light-glinted forest, decades ago, as a child, rustling and cawing — these birds called me to their coven. And being drawn into their mystery, I felt as a gifted being, in seeing something that no other had experienced. But that solitary sense of wonder, in simply seeing things — experiencing things — has long been a kind of gift; not suggesting being gifted, but rather being given gifts of sight and experience that are impacting and forever powerful. Unforgettable.
I believe, that the more you look, the closer in you see, the more you shall be gifted. It’s beyond that, of course, it’s also about what you are looking for, what meaning it has, and finally, what your draw — in wonderment — might be.
Like the gesture of a drawing — illustrating, lustrating and making something shine in your fist, your fingers and mind — it’s that: you draw it out; and you draw it in to your Self.
And, to that drawing, isn’t it possible that connecting — intimately — at the spirit of an icon (for me, the Raven) is something that might draw you into another world?
I’d say so.
Sow, that seed.
I also love ravens and was delighted to see your photos and read your thoughts. In fact, I am considering doing a blog about several wild ravens I know but am trying to understand the blogging process. In a book about blogs, it states that ‘wordpress’ is not photo friendly. You seem to have overcome any difficulty. Would you recommend it?
A kindred soul indeed.