Monday, February 15, 2010

Inspire: Black Birds

I'm thinking you might have been guessing this week's Inspiration from the last post.  This week we are looking to the ravens and crows to set our creativity on fire.  There are as many raven/crow stories as there are peoples, each unique and yet carrying a common thread.

Ravens and Crows (I know they are separate and their mythologies separate as well, please forgive me for writing them together) have long been held in disgust because they are carrion birds.  They seem to eat anything, but especially road kill.  Like vultures, they help clean up and keep the cycle of life going.  They are tricksters and teachers, thought and memory, psychopomps leading our souls to the underworld.  They are the bringers of fire and sun.  They teach us to laugh at ourselves.

I remember people in my neighborhood when I was growing up banging lids and firing into trees to dislodge the huge crowd of black birds cawing above them.  Before that, there was a crow that would eat my peanut butter sandwiches when I lived in the timber.

What are your thoughts on ravens and crows?  Do they frighten you?  Do they draw you?  Have you ever stopped and watched them?  Have you ever learned about them?  Did you know that they are one of the smartest, if the THE smartest, bird species?  They can learn to use tools.  Do you know how to tell the difference between the two?

Here are some links to provide you with more information, since I'm going to stop gushing about the birdies now.
PBS ran a program on Ravens.
Awesome printables and outlines of the birds.
Krahe, one of my favorite pieces of art.
PBS: Discover the Brainpower of the Bird in Black
American Society of Crows and Ravens

What do the black feathers inspire in you?

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