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 mountain.
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 Saw Far.
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
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. 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.
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.