…not impersonal or personal but strangely friendly

Most days a crow alights on the end of the guttering on the neighbor’s house in clear view of the living room window. It often carries food it has scavenged, a little bread and today a few pieces of tofu I had thrown up onto our roof. The guttering has a dip in it where water collects, a crow’s well. The crow seems to drink there regularly and today it dips pieces of food into the water, lifting them dripping and tossing them back into its throat the way birds do.It then drinks, perhaps the tofu had dried a little on the roof. The sun was low in the West and shone on the crows back lighting the long feathers with a coal or obsidian like sheen. The water dripping from its beak became liquid light, a luminous sustenance. Such light does not stop at the eyes but pours down my throat to the heart of a world glimpsed and hinted at.

The maples along the street are the green of May, a kind of lime-green not so yellow as that of April nor as dark as greens of June. The sun shines through the window softly onto an anthurium with bright vermilion flowers.

At times there’s a stillness hovering over things illuminated. Plants, buildings, pavement suggesting a profound silence, not impersonal or personal but strangely friendly, at the base of living.

The crow flies off to a power line where its mate is perched. Its stiffened legs bounce forward and back with wing beats, toes ready for grasping. If you don’t look so much as human to crow but nature to nature you don’t need to wait for science to explain the obvious. Its dark eye is the pupil of my own. The balancing tensions of its body on the eave spout’s edge is my own body standing on a fence post as I look across an expanse of sagebrush to mountains dark with thunder clouds. At times you can’t find the distance that makes us two and this seems to be worship, a love and beauty that needs no human history.

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