A piece of prose from ‘Reclaimed Innocence’ Its one of the mysteries of writing I find. Never knowing what will emerge, just following a thread of words that emerge from the sounds in the garden.
There is always a peacefulness here; always a creative spark in this place. I wonder what will happen next and what will flow from the energy I hold in myself. There is little to do in these moments. Just to be, to ponder a little. Remembering that I am enough and all that I do despite how I feel really does have meaning. There is a reason for everything, I know this from my deepest core and as my life unfolds gradually I feel that deep acceptance that all I need to experience will ultimately become apparent and less of a mystery to me.
Like the black feathers of the crow, the mysterious colours and shapes and the shadows that he casts upon the earth, flapping his wings amongst the branches and the leaves, he will share his mysteriousness with the world without any great thought for why or how and what purpose he was born for. Still he will have an effect on me as I sit here listening to those sounds.
He knows nothing of me, yet he affects me. He may never see me or know I exist. But I hear him and he opens my mind, my ears and my eyes to a world that is greater than mine.
So I dance and I stretch my body, I move further into the space, exploring this body and how it needs to move this morning, always it loves to stretch like the wings of the black crow. It expands into the light and casts its own shadow upon the ground, I am witness to this shadow. I know it is there. Does the crow know his shadow? Does he peck at it, caw at it, play with it? Laugh mockingly at its strangeness? I wonder at my own dance, as my shadow dances with me. We are connected as my body expands, so too does its, as I dance so too does it dance, as I expand so too my shadow reaches outwards. What is known what is hidden – does it matter if the sun glistens on the black crows back and shows the blue tinges of many shades? Yet it warms the soul, reminding me of who I am and who I am not. And for a moment the crow is silent and I dance to my own voice, that speaks quietly to myself and shares some deep thoughts about the next adventure. As the sun shines it reminds me of many fireside rituals that are waiting to emerge and be shared. The women’s voices that are ready to shake their shadows to the core and speak out from the centre of their dance.
And if I expand my awareness out further to stretch my mind as well as my wings into the world of the crow, amidst the trees and hedgerows to feel the sun on my face and to be able to touch the same bark and crisp dried up leaves, what then will I hear and what then will I share?
Do the birds silence themselves for fear I may harm them, do they disappear off into the blue sky to alight further afield. I sense the earth beneath my feet holding some of that dark mystery and feeling my own yearning for depth and meaning. I reach my fingers into the rough craggy stone letting my hands meet with the soil and rock, prickly dead leaves and dried up old seeds, sorting through natures collages of what is ready to rot back into its existence, to compost back down and become one earth once more. And still no sound or sign of the crow until I look upward again to a high hedge above my head where I spy a nest old and unused and I wonder who had nestled in this bed of twigs half way between the earth and the sky.
The drum begins to speak to me; it calls me to enter deeply into familiar territory. As I circle inwards to the cavern I know well, I am met by many crows within council. I stand amidst them asking why am I here and what am I here to do? How much do I trust this way of communicating? Are the crows here to shame me or am I feeling mocked by them?
‘Stand in the circle with us they caw’ and so I enter the circle knowing it to be safe and I explore the teachings here. Be with the circle I am told but ‘which one’ I hear myself say. ‘The one you are in’ is my reply.
I feel my body next to a large black crow much bigger than I and he carries me up amidst the clouds, above the sea we fly, above many lands looking down on vast continents.
I am meant to be here – sharing myself in flight with the world. To strange worlds; to the black suited worlds – here is the voices necessary circle, find its strength and let it caw. Follow the crow and its pin-striped feathery clan, laugh at the shadow it creates and step one step at a time, one sentence at a time, one breath at a time, until you find a way through the craggy undergrowth for there you will find the emerald jewels.
So what was the emerald stone that he spoke about? I had found little broken pieces of green glass amongst the stones and rubble. They glistened like jewels in the sunshine. Just some old discarded bottle that had not made its way into the recycling bin! I remembered my trip to Colombia where the green stone was sold in many shops and places for tourists to collect foreign oddments. My own sweetheart had bought me a tiny wee heart shaped emerald stone for safe keeping in my jewellery box. I thought of the Emerald Isle that I had lived on for seventeen years of my life, the green moss and richly abundant green fields and hilltops that my memory so often wanders towards. Missing that tranquil land and sweet smelling pastures, knowing I will not return because now I seek the emerald stone elsewhere. Aha! I realised the emerald stone was following me. It was with me just like the little green heart shape and the memories that lingered; they had become part of me. I was part of it.
Black crow shiny suit caws back at me from the branch tops. I hear him loud and clear. I don’t find him particularly friendly; he just seems very loud and does not really direct his attention towards me at all. I don’t suppose he has any thought for me. I can see him clearly now, shining in that sunlight. His suit of black feathers looking smarter today, with their bluish tinge, they fit him well. Slick; almost elegant in their appearance. He struts along the branch with his own well-known self-importance. And I here on the ground in my earthy robes and big boots, sitting amongst the well trodden earth, amongst the pots and plants that I fill with rotted compost, hoping for new seeds to show forth and feed our need for green salad and fresh vegetables, come the summer time. We are a strange pair. He in his world, and I in mine.
The masculine dark suited pin stripe world looking outwards across the buildings and rooftops, the next catch, the next profit, the next gathering of clans within the concrete structures. They meet in circle together. Cawing at each other, are they willing to listen, to speak heart to heart, to feel beneath the skin of conformity?
I kick of those boots and dance a little, moving to the sound of drum beat as it oozes outwards from the yurt in the garden, bones and muscles, earth, rocks and stone, here I am. There you are crow, come move with me, let’s find this beat together. He moves, he struts, he caws. Dancing shiny suit feathers flapping, beak opens and closes, I hear no noise for a still breath, within the timing of my dance.
For a moment maybe I find a connection, I want to ask him about the Emerald stone. So I continue dancing, moving gently. He flies, alighting on a nearby garden chair, scraping his beak for a moment, scratching it with his claw, cleaning away the crumbs from feed time. Looking up he seems curious enough to remain awhile, sensing there is no danger.
I am but the feminine, what worries has he of my breeding, my earthiness, my dance? Might it worry him a little, may he be slightly disconcerted with my presence in HIS garden. What could I possibly do to fear him? My toes touch into the earth, I feel my roots and sense my heart beat, he flaps his wings, will he alight once more? Tiny little claws of grey painted shiny foot wear like his suit sparkle in sunlight. Tight fitting cramping those toes, never dancing freely, Armani, Boss, Lauren, well made and suited for the purpose, looking good, looking good. My bare feet touch the earth, they dance freely, he sets off again in flight, and on he goes barely time to breathe. Never settled long enough, must always be doing doing doing!
I breathe, deep breath, now I feel my heart beat stronger and stronger. What is right for this earth for this mover, this beat getting stronger? And so my fingers back again in that soil, did Armani ever touch the soil?
Cawing from the rooftops; this time others join him. What of the strange creature touching the earth? Looking, seeing, exploring the possibilities of learning something, anything. Is there a profit in the making? Gathering together they are one group of wise words and well meaning for the company, yes for the company, oh the company they keep of course. They see each other and strut and peck and nod their heads. And the feminine creature arches her back, stretches her limbs and talks to the earth, what then sweet earth if only I alone am talking with you. Do you care?
The sun is beginning to settle amongst the clouds and wander to its resting place; a chill lingers now beneath those same clouds and settles in a mist around me and the rooftops. Cawing Crow knows its time to join that mist, to journey onwards through the concrete, homeward bound. Breathing those mists into lungs that heave, through smoky atmospheres, through air-conditioned stale smoke, smells of putrid over- used breath and condensation.
Not this Crow, he flies freely from all of this, I know. Along the road side, pavements, park ways, Mercedes, Bentley, Rolls and Lamborghini free rolling, radio gently swooning, no worries. My dance takes me inwards, into my cavern, old and familiar, drumbeat rocking my mind…..where will my next journey take me? If I ask the Black Crow Shiny Suit to come into those darkened places, to meet me there, shrouded within the dreamtime, what I wonder may we discover together.
I take my emerald heart shaped stone into my cavern with me. It’s a journey into that darkened place to explore something I know so little of. There is the crow meeting with me. Is he reluctant? Will he allow me see deep within those shiny feathers? Making myself so, so small I creep inwards, unfolding one feather at a time, like making my way through thick forest and undergrowth, clawing away brambles and anything that gets in my way. I meet with each white stem of a feather that is planted deep into the grey like flesh that has never seen the sun. Thin in its texture, so grey and undernourished. It feels cold to my own fingers that are long and spindly, yet always there to meet with the dirt of the earth and with the rays of the sun that brown and wrinkle them. This grey skin so thin and cold, takes one small pinch of the nails on my fingers to pierce into it and allow my own energy to flow deep inside. One moment of sharpness a pain that is barely felt but knows that its there. Shock for one small moment, he is seen, he is known, she finds her way in.
The sensual being under the skin meets with each of those white bones and sinews that run deep within caverns, that are old and forgotten, cobwebby thoughts, old process’s, deep cellular mud and rubble that has not moved in many decades. Meeting at its core, gently massaging with the dance of thousands of years that stirs and shakes and re-members each cord, fusing together broken wires and mis-matched threads of forgotten information.
Calling to the crow to move and dance those pin stripped Armani – Bentley driven feet, to move across this floor to open up those wings and feel that heart beating harder into this music. So heart and beat become one and timing of feet, claws, hands, heart dance together in the feminine creatures’ soulful embrace.
I reach out and touch the top of his head as it bends down to meet my own, neck stretching uncomfortably, but opening up each vertebra on its spine so that fluid, once more can wash through those fixed compressed bones and clear out unwanted chalk dust and small pebbles of discomfort. We dance, we are danced, we open up the crazy possibility that these two worlds can and will meet, that they will begin to find harmony and the green emerald will find a new river to flow in, as it separates itself from the hardened spine of fear and accumulation.
We follow the green emerald together, dancing our way laughing and celebrating its release. Watching where it flows. It has its own journey and gathers itself and the green rushes and grasses that open pathways for it to spread and expand upon. Giving itself back to the earth it fertilises each pasture each field and delicate flower. It seeps back into the earth, filling the deep mines and blood-let caverns, to feed the earth with nourishment and replace the loss of soul deep within its veins. Hungry for this drip feed of new blood, the skin turns a lighter shade of pink, pulsing veins to the surface and warms gently a belly undernourished for many life times.
Earth and sky meet flapping wings, sun rises and songs are heard as if nothing ever happened and nothing has changed. I dance in my garden, aware of the crow in his black-feathered shiny suited booted wardrobe, pecking under the feathers cleansing out the mothballed grub and clutter, ready to begin another day, another dream and chatter amongst the rooftops.
From ‘Reclaimed Innocence’ MyVoice Publishing