Monday, 13 July 2009

Corvus Corax

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

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

I've seen ravens around dumpsters in High Level; they are all the same. I'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've always thought my fishing would improve if I thought about something else than fishing. I was hung over and almost asleep.

The young raven came from behind. I only heard the wings, the speed of the dive; then the raven started climbing, gaining distance and height. I didn't move. I wondered if the young raven wanted to see if I was dead.

For a while it seemed like the raven was turning around for another dive, but suddenly it sensed danger, and got scared away.

Some days later I was walking along the shoreline, going back to the cabin. I felt something following me. Annie Dillard once wrote in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and I'm just quoting after memory: "In nature it's not so much about being able to see, but to sense that you are being seen" Or maybe my memory fails me.

The young raven was coming up from behind, and got really startled when I suddenly turned around. The raven was cawing harshly and irritated as it disappeared in the wood, in the darkness between the trees.

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