Thursday, 5 September 2019
A Conspiracy of Ravens
I haven't been here for a while - It's been so hard to know what to say. In the face of so much destruction around the world, so much sad news, so much grief. Also much busy-ness.
In the end (or perhaps it was the beginning) I went to The Spirits for a conversation about what I'm doing, or not-doing, here. I had become becalmed, motionless as all around me environmental devastation and disasters filled the news, the Amazon being the one that really undid me. I couldn't find anything useful to say, and to write my anguish or my anger at what is happening didn't feel like the right thing to be doing. More than anything it didn't feel remotely useful. I write a blog because I was asked to by 'Them'. And until I embarked on this conversation I had lost sight of that, forgotten that I had been asked to share my love of the natural world, to share my experiences of a reciprocal world in which we all know ourselves to be part of a sacred, sentient, ensouled, whole. Speak the truth.
I walked away from this reminder straight into a Conspiracy of Ravens. I could hardly believe my eyes and sadly hadn't brought my camera so you can't see. There were 32 Ravens (at minimum - that's the number in the air at one time, there may have been more on the ground) all kraaking and twirling, soaring and diving, flapping and floating in the soft late summer air. Mostly in pairs (ravens mate for life) their wing-beats filled the valley with the sound of air under five foot of feather, air supporting over two and a half pounds of bird flesh, air that is never more unexpectedly loud than when a raven's wing plays upon it. What an incredible blessing, their savage beauty and wild grace held me still in the morning light, this time not feeling adrift, but high on the tumbling air and simultaneously tethered to the good green earth. I was so happy, so utterly peaceful.
Then suddenly, shuddering with tears, with unspeakable joy, for the Raven is one of my dearest friends and in being with so many I felt as if I had found my way back from the brink of utter despair and into hope. In walking to the top of the tor I also walked out along silver filaments into the blackness of the ravens eye, her wing, her wildly beating heart. I moved upwards and downwards and within. I am everywhere and everyone. I am no-thing and I am nothing. In the few seconds it takes to form these words hours have passed, suns have risen, shone and been obliterated, lifetimes have passed, aeons of time have faded into the darkness.
Ravens - so reviled, so beloved. Our history and theirs has intertwined for millennia. They are the battle bird, blood bird, death delighter, feaster on corpses. Bird of augury, teller of futures, I remembered:
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed.
There will always be love.
There will always be hope.
There will always be now
And some sort of strange tomorrow.
So may it be.
And so it is.