Tuesday, April 6, 2010

As The Crow Flies

1.  Crows are whirling way up there in the thermals. A scout is posted nearby eavesdropping. It's that girl with the beautiful hair dancing her peculiar-to-crack-cocaine-pantomime. The headlights hit her - head snaps back, eyes and tongue roll -like she can feel the light. Her wild senses are aware of me and zero in eventhough her conciousness is off in some momentary Limbo. Her feet are planted in a fighting stance, but ruin twists and climbs her like a vine.

2.   Don't look so smug, Crow, as you pen another entry into my catalog of shame - it was the fourth time I'd seen the kid in 48 hours. He's 22 years old and languishing for something like two years in a homeless shelter, stealing and drinking cold medicine everyday - dextromethorphan (DXM). His brain is probably as Swiss cheesey as Sponge Bob at this point, and he looks at you blankly again when you ask him what the hell he's doing back here at 4 am on Easter morning while my kids are waiting for the Easter bunny to come. He hits you up for train fare and asks what kind of sandwiches they have here. Yes, Bird, I called him "shithead" right there in front of the entertained ER staff and the invisible, newly risen Christ. Did you think I missed it?

3.   The raven is Crow's Northern cousin. In Bethel, Alaska - a Yupi'k tundra town where I saw human expressions on the faces of dogs, where fish fled from my impatience and gave themselves to the gentle, smiling old women, and where people who had every reason to hate me taught me how to laugh - I took a walk with Raven. We walked together out of town: me in the road and Raven on the light poles and electric wire. He showed me in an hour the connections - the relations - between people and animals, spirits and wind, grass and sky. Raven told me that all things living and nonliving are held by, and bound to, the Earth (even me). And for a moment, with spirits rushing through the tundra grass all around me, I knew it. I still feel a hole in myself where the spirit of that place once blew through.

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