Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Rumi Day 19: Long Absent
Yesterday day I found the roosts of crows. One near a friend's art studio on Pine Street, the other on Clark Street in the trees of the Unitarian Churchyard. Today is the first of March and here in Vermont we await the emergence of spring, anxiously, compulsively wanting winter's release. This happens yearly, not many I know escape the grip of winter, who as Anna P will sing you “always keeps her promise.” It's part of the pattern of our life to complain grow weary of winter as though our growing disdain for snow and cold weather plays a roll in the change of seasons. Somehow I still love the drama of it.
The crows flock around the trees, squawking, crying out to each other. Jen says they're at a rave. I say, so many of us are obsessed with birds. Birds are every where. I just found a former VCFA student and Vermonter's blog titled Wood Bird. I buy paper and cards and photos with birds, a local photographer and artist has spent most of the winter painting crows and ravens, in book covers I find birds mixed up in the image...
There is something ancient and mysterious about birds that allows them to fill the creative imagination with mystery because birds remain unknowable. Last night we talked about all the crows, and Jen reminded me that the crow is a symbol of change, upheaval, death. Death as a symbol is about metaphorical and yet real change: the end of one life for the next. We wondered if the overwhelming presence of crows in the Queen City marks social unrest or creative exuberance. We feel changed by the uprising in both the Middle East and in Wisconsin. We feel outraged by the anti-women bills in congress and the anti-women/racist billboard that went up last week in NYC of all places, we feel a surging sense of renewal. Spring, for us northerners has a downright spiritual hold on our lives. Here we are on the brink, anxious, restless, irritable and discontent...ready for salvation.
I open and fill with love
and what is not love evaporates.
All the learning in books stays put
on the shelf. Poetry, the dear
words and images of song, comes down
over me like mountain water.
*translated by Coleman Barks