The Icon of You — The Journey into The Other
Those of us that have been around — out there, walking the woods, listening and looking, know the corvid clan…crows, rooks, ravens, jays, magpies and jackdaws.
How could you miss them?
They have a point of view,
a willingness to comment.
They’re a quick study. Of what you’re doing.
Too close. Too noisy. Sudden movements.
But then there’s trust.
And they won’t forget you.
Good or bad.
Have known and loved the raven, and family, in all manifestations for years — the question could be:
“Why now, would there be such renewed and continuing enthusiasm about the crow — which, familial to the smartest bird group in the world —
is essentially just a black bird?”
For me, it’s a continuing saga that goes a long journey back, so a love of this family is nothing even remotely new. But the saga of the raven — literally, the legend — is indeed something that goes back, thousands of years.
Perhaps, in opening, the real point is about the beauty of black — which, also for me — is a favored garment of color; it’s the easiest to travel in. Wear black, and you can go anywhere, forever. Same with Corvids, I’d guess. Black sinks into shadow.
And surely they do — arising early in the morning, flying in dispersal from the rookery (and that’s everywhere in the world that I’ve been) to returning home, to roost, just approaching the darkening evening. I see it — the rookeries, the nesting journeys. I watch it — the arc of their pathway. I wait for the call [which is a kind of wake up, “hey you down there, pay attention” — their coming, their study, their going; and I wait the sunrise of their journey out into the world, and I watch for the departing — and study their going home.
What I’ve been noticing, as well, that the Raven People ( a group of ravens, as you know, is a “storytelling”) — a storytelling of Raven’s (people) are collecting. People particularly in the Northwest are coming out to comment, point, shove articles and witty videos of the ravens tide of corvid actions.
You’re finding them online — and their twittering in. I’ve gotten, sometime back, a reach from the team at SeattleCrows – the twitter link. And, really, this is about a crow counting event attached to the University of Washington, here. There’s a link, there, to the CrowCamera, documenting the hatching of eggs, among other corvid tellings. More than 5,000 views, and — all told — 3313 hours, 32 minutes, people watching crows on the CrowCamera.
Why, yet again, would I write another piece, aside from the numerous added crow and raven imagery that I’ve gathered (pretty much all the time)? Just because it keeps popping up. And, this weekend, there’s more on the crow, the planet of crow, in Crow Planet, as reviewed in the NYTimes.
Liesl Schillinger writes about the newest contributor to the storytelling of raven | crow…Lyanda Lynn Haupt, who comments on the kind of passion that seems to relate to the birds, like ’em, or hate ’em. “Like human beings,” Haupt explains, “crows are one of the few prominent, dominant, successful species that prosper in the modern world. Their hardiness means they will outlast more fragile species.”
Before we revile them, she suggests, we ought to understand that there are so many of them because there are so many of us. Because we have built, they have come, and crows and humans today must coexist in the overlap of human and animal geographies.
For me, the study of the bird is something that pretty much goes on all day; it’s the number one distractor for me, standing and working in the office, then, as well, being in other parts of the planet. On and on; keep looking, and it goes on. Here’s where I look, have looked, and have written, on the storytelling of ravens, the murder of crows, the band of jays, a charm of magpies, a clattering of jackdaws. All of them, smart, attentive, playful.
But what I really focus on is: attention. Paying attention. There’s the biggest learning for me. Watching them. Watching us.
Write, here — to my measure:
One day, you’ll get it.
Pet one, maybe.
Tim | Decatur Island Studios
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