A Brief Conversation With a Raven

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“So okay― there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You’ve blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want.”  ~  Stephen King

Yeh, what he said. Nice quote there Mr. King. I’ve read maybe 5-6 Stephen King novels and have enjoyed them. It was his subject matter I found to be off-putting, but his writing quality makes it worthwhile. The guy is good. Now, moving forward . . . I had a brief conversation with a raven yesterday, as he took a brief moment to pull himself away from the fast food crumbs he was enjoying. McDonald’s is right next door to my workplace. He looked a bit alarmed at first, maybe as if I was going to get his stuff, or maybe that humans are of risk as being troublesome and untrustworthy creatures. I might have to agree with him on that one, in my darker moments. Luckily those moments don’t happen so much since I have learned to control myself. One benefit of having mental health issues is that if you apply yourself you can learn coping tools that are pretty much the same thing as wisdom. No, really. I must tip my metaphorical hat to the late great Stephen Levine here, for he provided me, back in 1980, with the inspiration that led me to incorporate mindfulness perspective into my being. I slip and slide with that one, but the mindfulness alone can become a self-regulating system after a while. It’s like, you start slipping and sliding and you automatically say “Hey, I’m slipping and sliding, but for the moment that’s just how I roll”. Anyway, back to the raven. He had his beak hanging open and his head cocked slightly as he looked at me. I vocally assured him, in soft and trusting tones, that I was not going to get him. He replied with barely audible clucks and rattles. Their vocabulary is extraordinary, and a tad weird. I then noticed that next to the McDonald’s bag there was a carton from KFC, and I had to wonder if the bird was maybe doing some performance art mockery of the president, thus the KFC. Ya know, like “Nevermore, Mr. President. Please, nevermore!”. That’s another thing I am inclined to agree with. No, I did not pick up the trash, because he wasn’t finished with it. It’s a courtesy, k? As Vonnegut (Kurt, not Mark) said – courtesy succeeds where love often fails. That’s paraphrased, a blend from several quotes and stuff. I’ve come to a different relationship with ravens ever since they started getting the media attention lately. It seems that scientists are finding that they may be up there with higher primates and dolphins when it comes to intelligence. I would add felis domesticus to that list but them friggin cats are aliens so I can’t rightly include them on the list. Oh, wait, I wasn’t making a list, I was just suggesting a vague hierarchy. My bad. Soooo, my perspective on ravens has changed. I am a panpsychist in my thinking but these birds have really got me thinking now. They are intelligent, logical, self-aware, beings. This alone makes me want to look them in the eye and say yo dude. Admittedly, I do that sometimes.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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