A crow is a mid-sized ink black bird. The word “crow” is used both as part of the common name of many species and collectively for all raptor type birds.
When I was a kid, my dad rescued a crow on the side of the road and mended him back to health, like our old fences out back. The neighbors hated that crow, named “Crow,” because he would dive bomb their grills and steal their backyard Sunday food.
I was fascinated by the freedom of that bird.
I longed to fall from the sky.
I longed to be mended.
Crows have long symbolized death. A bird that feeds on dead animals and moods, myths surrounding the crow compound over generations, passed around campgrounds and tepees and from my grandmother to me.
The crow symbolizes War. Misfortune.
That’s what some say.
But not my grandmother. She believed people misunderstood the crow, misidentified it’s presence and falsely labeled the experience as bad. Dark. Ominous.
Instead, she explained that when one sees the crow, it symbolizes a change is coming.
The crow is a spirit animal representing mystery and magic. The power of this bird, it is said, provides insight and is a means of supporting intentions.
A sign of luck.
A knower of deception, the crow recognizes tricksters and bull shitters before a human ever could. It’s also said that if the crow chooses you, he will support you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection.
The first crow showed up in my life a year ago today on the corner of Broadway and Belmont. Painted with a quick hand on white canvas, the more I understood the painting, the more I recognized the artist hadn’t planned on this image but recognized it as it formed.
I walked two full Lakeview blocks, looking at art and talking with the artists.
The crows followed me.
Sculpture: Metal. Clay. Melted yarn. Felt.
Paintings: Oil. Watercolor. Manipulated photography.
Everywhere; Balancing on high wires, part of city scenes, flocked together on tree’s, perched alone on a single telephone pole.
I passed a murder of crows, as they are referred to in group.
It wasn’t until I found the single crow falling from the sky that I remembered the mystery, the longing I’d held for thirty years, to fall from the sky with the freedom that crow had. I wound back through the booths, this time aware and confused… bombarded by the ink black crows and the certainty that, like my grandmother promised, everything was changing.
Crows are now considered to be among the worlds most intelligent animals. Recent research has found a crow is capable of not only tool use, but also tool construction.
Turns out, me as well.
During this year, I’ve fallen from the sky. The con-man, the masks, the distraction. The certainty of shame, the positivity of unworthiness. The belief in what I was told and what I told myself.
It all began to fall away. I did the work long before this year, but results take time and change is a process.
Now, the promise of the crow: sight, transformation, connection. The crow found the wounds in me, the bullshitter, and stole them like our neighbors Sunday food.
I like this new vulnerable me. The defensive posture I lived in has relaxed, I see it in my relationships, in my work, in my days and nights and my breath. I feel real.
I’m sure now how it feels to fall from the sky.
Like Grace, my grandmother’s name.
Change me prayer
“Divine Beloved, Change Me into someone
who can give with complete ease and abundance,
knowing You are the unlimited Source of All.
Let me be an easy open conduit for Your prosperity.
Let me trust that all of my own needs are
always met in amazing ways
and it is safe to give freely as my heart guides me.
And equally, please Change Me into someone
who can feel wildly open to receiving.
Let me know my own value, beauty and
worthiness without question.
Let me allow others the supreme pleasure of giving to me.
Let me feel worthy to receive in every possible way.
I am You.
You are Me.
We are One.
All is well.”
~ Tosha Silver
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