the village at the foot of the mountain
Part of Raven’s nature was to be a
whisperer of spirit, from the hermit living in a cave
near the top of the mountain, to the people living in the village below.
Raven saw in two Ways, … one Way out of
her left eye, and another Way out of her right
eye. This was her Gift from the Wind …
the double seeing.
The hermit did not live alone. While
he was naturally aging, his companion was clearly
younger. Mature, but younger. This the
Raven Saw out of her right eye: two people living
together in a cave high up near the top of the
With her left eye Raven Saw something
entirely different. The hermit had a double
animal-like nature – he was two people at the same
time. The animal-like quality was a kind of
visible to the Wind metaphor – a Way of expressing a Gift.
He remained fully human, and his
heart was akin to that of a great bear, sitting
quietly. This aspect of the hermit’s Gift might
on occasion roar, but basically this lazy bear style
was harmless. On the bear’s head, however, was
the Gift of an eagle nature, his feathers all white – a bit like the snowy owl. The eagle nature
When the bear quality spoke from out of
the eagle-nature his speech was fearsome. It was
so full of the truth’s of the Wind, that its
brightness blinded people in the village. This
was why the people in the village mostly stayed away from the cave.
When Raven looked at the woman with her
left-eye-seeing, what Raven Saw was even more
fearsome. The woman, always quiet and gentle,
was in fact very ancient … more ancient than earth and sky.
Raven saw a picture once that was like
this ancient being … in a book in a library in the
village when Raven was perched outside looking through a window.
The book called this Being, a Sphinx.
Where the hermit had a double nature, the
woman was three. In the Raven’s left-eye Sight,
she had the body of a great lion,
the wings of a great
bird, and the face of a human-like angel.
Sometimes the woman would go to the
village, because her kinder nature made her less
threatening. The hermit seldom went. Many
people did not like to be around someone whose speech
was full of the fierce light of truth.
The villagers lived in a state of confusion. Something was happening. Their world was changing too fast, and even though they clung with great force to their traditions, the Wind swept through the village, over and over again, tearing the traditions away, as if these traditions were vanities written carelessly on rice paper.
Some days the Wind was so fierce, stones were torn from buildings, roofs collapsed, and lives disrupted.
The hermit was old. He was born old. He was dying. He was born dying. His bear-nature – his physical being – was older, and slowly fading. His eagle-nature – his spirit being – was a bit younger, and as the bear aged, his spirit became more and more free. In the quiet of the cave the hermit sang spirit songs.
To hear the speech of birds one had to be like a bird – moving on the Wind, with feet disconnected from the Earth. A few of the older people still heard the songs of the birds, but often were thought mad when they spoke of them. In the village then all was confused, although if the hermit’s stories and poems were listened to, the confusion would be far less. The Wind helped Raven carry the songs from the cave near the mountain top, to the village far below. But not all the people any more even believed in the Wind. You had to be like a child, and to believe as children do in magic, if you wanted to hear the wisdom of the birds as carried on the Wind.
Raven heard them, as best as she could, and then carried them to the village to share with the other birds there. Most of the people didn’t listen to the conversations of birds, although a lot of the children did, until they became to old to dance and play.