Monday, 13 July 2009

Corvus Corax

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

At Bistcho Lake we sometimes saw a young raven along the shoreline. It was easily scared and took off for nothing.

We've seen ravens around dumpsters back in High Level; they are all the same. We've seen drunk natives crossing the parking lot, leaning forward in the wind.

How come that we so often are better off with nothing?

I once sat fishing on a slanting plastic chair, out on the ice. I was hung over and almost asleep. The raven came from behind. I only heard the wings, the speed of the dive; then it started climbing again, gaining distance and height. I didn't move. Maybe the raven thought I was dead. For a while it seemed like the young raven was turning around for another dive, but suddenly it sensed danger and got scared away.

Annie Dillard once wrote in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and I'm just quoting after memory: "In nature it's not so much about seeing, but to sense that you are being seen". Or maybe my memory fails me.

Some days later I was walking along the row of pines. I had this strong feeling of being followed. The young raven was coming from behind again, and it got really startled when I suddenly turned around. The black shape was cawing harshly and irritated as it disappeared into the forest, into the darkness between the trees.

Corvus Corax; it sounds like a raven saying its own name.