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Ravens Chant Sublime

I am just blogging to say that I want to start blogging every day if I can even if I have little to say.  I just want to get into the habit of it, and the training of it.  Otherwise I get too focused on outcome and trying to be perfect which clearly I will never be, nor my houndie hound, but we are very diligent and strong and so I want to just sometimes throw things out there without a huge degree of thought and polishing and all that bother.

So I broke my ankle on January 20th.  Actually, I dislocated, tore, and fractured it and it’s only in the last two weeks or so that I’ve been back walking Amicus and back to the forest.  Being away from the forest was a little like if someone took your heart away for two months and gave you this little paltry spare one for that time.  I didn’t realize how much the forest now defines me and how much I need it.  Walking along a deep green path with the tri-color tans of Ami padding along ahead, watching him sniff and pee and enjoy the adventure and both of us never sure what’s up ahead or around the next massive cedar, there’s just nothing like it.  I started a little poem that I’m working on with this theme, so far all I’m sure of is, “The forest will forgive me, but concrete never can; metal signs say nothing, but ravens chant sublime.”

Other things I did in this broken ankle time was I entered a poetry slam which I’ve never done and I did really well.  I was super nervous beforehand, but the people there were so supportive and warm and the other poets so amazing and visionary.  One guy, Daun Pechawis, I think is like a force of nature, an elemental spirit, I was so impressed with him and how he revealed his heart through such solid writing.  I met a lot of people that night and I really felt like I was part of something, the community.

I also discovered during my broken ankle period that I sure do love hot baths and boy did I miss them.  The first day the cast came off, like 25 minutes later I was sitting in hot water staring at the poor shrunken scaly little leg that now needed love and work.  But boy that hot water soaking into my soul felt good.

It would be about two more months after that before I could get back to the forest.  I did realize however that the forest was always inside me, like that poem I wrote a while back, “When the forest gets inside us, it stays there,” well that’s true.  It’s funny now when I walk on a forest path I barely limp, but coming out onto a sidewalk or a parking lot, I limp again.  That’s partly what I meant about the forest forgiving me.  I also meant that only something alive is capable of forgiving and the forest is alive.

I also went to a drumming singing session at Sliammon which is the First Nation that actually owns all this stolen land around here.  I went there just to acknowledge that I know that; it felt really important to me.  I was nervous and I don’t know how I sounded, but the people I met that night were very welcoming to me, and I am going to go back and sing more.  There was a competition song where the men would sing and then the women would sing back.  It was super fun.  In the last few verses, I let my voice go.  I felt awkward and nervous at first because I hoped I had said the right things and that it made sense.

They were planning a canoe voyage where all different Bands meet up and have a big celebration.  It sounded like such an amazing journey and it made me feel sad because I don’t have that kind of beautiful culture where families go on big adventures and meet up with their strong amazing communities.

And when we were all singing, I wanted to go out into the forest nearby and listen from a few 100 metres away and feel like it was hundreds of years ago, and I was one of the first visitors and I would honour the powerful people I met and if they wanted we would have done things all so differently with strong friendly respectful nations glorying in the land and the magical beauty and the whole next hundreds of years would be different, but I knew I couldn’t do that and that everything is so broken and wrong, and so, again, it was weird, ’cause I felt sad and happy at the same time, sad because of the ways things are, and happy because I was singing with really friendly people and having fun.  It was weird to have all those same feelings at the same time.

And I thought if I were them, these welcoming people I was singing with, that I would hate me and not want me there, and maybe they did feel a little of that inside, and understandably, but the way they made me feel was welcome and special and I just kept thinking, wow, way back when it could have all been so so different and beautiful and magical and it was all done so so wrongly and it is still is.

But I really liked singing those old songs and hearing the drums, and now I know it’s even more true than I thought, when the forest gets inside us, it does stay there, and also that the forest will forgive me, but the concrete never can, metal signs say nothing, but ravens chant sublime.

Don’t know if all that goes together, don’t care.  Well, that’s it for today, this is me just throwing stuff out there.


About Andrea Layne Black

writer/painter/explorer&comrade of Amicus,houndextraordinaire

3 responses »

  1. Thank you for your blog!
    It was sad, exhilarating, funny, tragic–and above all so happy and full of hope. Following on a previous discussion, good medicine abounds!

  2. Loved it! I think it’s far more important to write from the heart, instead of ‘perfectly’ from the head – but I know, far too well, what you mean about wanting your writing to be perfect before you post.
    Keep writing every day – even if it’s just a line or two!

  3. Hello, I simply wanted to take time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your site.
    My Bolg :


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