Raven called to me.
I stood silent, listening.
Raven took flight, then circled in infinity loops.
I stood silent, watching from the center point.
Raven flew away.
I stood silent, remembering.
The other day, I was walking home and Raven called to me. I knew it was Raven, not Crow, for Raven sings a different song than Crow. I knew Raven was speaking to me, because my body responded to the call. I hear Ravens call everyday. There are many who fly and call in the place where I live. And when I hear these calls, my body listens; yet, my body rarely responds in the way it did on this day.
When my body responded by opening to a conversation, it turned to look directly at Raven. Raven was sitting atop a four-story apartment building, and as my body turned and my eyes came into contact, Raven looked directly at me…then turned away, then turned back, then turned away, then turned back…and Raven’s glance then rested upon mine.
We stood there simply seeing each other without sound for about a minute. As I addressed Raven with my awareness, a beautiful light emanated from all around Raven. And then, Raven took flight and swooped down to just above me, and began to fly in figure eights, with the center point of this infinity sign directly above me. Raven flew these arcs multiple times as I looked open and up, watching with a kind of quiet amazement. I continued to listen, taking Raven in, as Raven spoke to me in song and flight. And as Raven flew away, I could feel the gift left in Raven’s wake. I could feel a remembering taking place in my soul.
I stood there for another few minutes just feeling this remembering taking root, a remembering that never became rational but rather laid itself out in layers, layers woven throughout my being.
I wrote this poem directly flowing this delightful conversation. It flowed from my heart. It flowed from Raven.
Addressed instead of discussed.
I just finished a book that opened a window wider into the reality of this world we live in, this world that includes Raven. I’ve remembered layers of this world, a world my body knows, but one I was not raised in. It’s the world as a vibrant, alive creation; a world where all of life is interrelated.
In Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, Martín Prechtel writes about how all of the adults in the Mayan village where he lived knew the ‘Respect Names’ for ‘deified forces’:
“The same was true for fire, lake, mountains, and many other natural forces. All these things were alive and had to be addressed as kin when in their presence, otherwise they would be insulted. The same etiquette used for humans extended to the world. Thus the things of the world were addressed instead of discussed.”
When I read these words, I stopped reading. I took them in…the difference between being addressed and discussed. I remembered back to childhood, how I felt discussed and not addressed – seen but not heard. I remembered how I felt many times as a woman when I was discussed and not addressed.
One time in particular, when I worked in an office as a department manager, a male co-worker from a different department came into our office, looked around and then said, “Where is everyone?” He meant the men. A few other women and I were very present, very there, but he did not address us.
How many times have I done that to others in my life? How many times have I looked toward a face, or faces, and not seen the soul(s) standing right in front of me?
But it is more than even this. With regard to life, there is a hierarchy of worth and value in our world. It is clear than certain human beings have more supposed value and worth, hence more rights and privilege, than others. And the rest of life? Raven? Crow? So far down on the scale.
Everything alive not only deserves, but is created, to be addressed with dignity and respect. We only discuss things when we are seeing them as things…not alive…simply objects…simply things that we don’t value, or that we feel separate from.
When we address we signal a desire to be in communion with, to learn from, to be affected by, and to affect. When we address another, we open the door to remembering the wholeness of our soul, the soul of the being we are addressing, and the soul of the earth as mother to all beings.
Wholeness knows these things. Wholeness addresses. Wholeness addresses woman with dignity and respect, with love and sisterhood, with a remembrance of connection that happens when we lead with wholeness, not with our wounding.
Like Raven, we can learn to walk in two worlds, the world that doesn’t acknowledge wholeness, and the world that only knows wholeness.
Like Raven, we can engage with life through our bodies, bodies that long to address and be addressed.
To do so means we must address our bodies, not discuss them.
To do so means we listen to our bodies, rather than pretend they are ignorant creatures with no wisdom to guide us.
To do so means we realize that everything has inherent value and that everything is sacred, including our bodies, including Raven, including other women, including all beings, including all of life.
Address life and you’ll see life has always been addressing you.