My posts are weaving in and out of the brightly-coloured ribbons of other writers who attended the recent Feathered Seer weekend. We touch upon common themes; we inspire one another; we anticipate the next ball of thread upon the loom.
We, the Clan of the Raven held tight in Hexagram, yet face outwards, a catapult of spinning lore, deep bone rhythm and Corvid cries whirling out from the centre.
In my silence, I connect. My sexual wounds from this lifetime chime deeply with the great bells of past ripping and wrenching of female limbs, of harsh mistreatment of hidden soft parts, of taking that which was not offered. My blood flows with theirs, meets in a river of Maiden, Mother, Crone abuse.
I am not man. Not this time around. And, therefore, despite empathy, I cannot be male; nor can I understand the urge, by no means universal, that prompts such a tearing, violent plunge into territory belonging to another.
Ravens caw over the battlefields of men, horses, dogs. Do they also lament – a hoarse and lonely ‘Awk!’ – over the graveyards of women’s bodies? Over the Passchendaele of womb pierced by lance, vagina torn asunder by lust, babes cut from living bellies?
Crosses commemorate fallen men the world over. Quite right: Their courage should be remembered; the senseless and lengthy lists of the war-dead should be mourned.
But what of the women who fall in battles symbolic? Who end up as little more than a tag on the toe in a dark and gloomy Morgue. Or the children, cut down in their prime by pointless acts of violence; decimated by disease; fated never to know love or offspring of their own.
What of them?
The Song of the Raven Clan, seeded by Father and grown by Mother, sparked by Man and birthed by Woman, using the energies of both Squire and Maiden, Sage and Crone, drummed into being by Weaver and Spinner.
In my silver dress, ribbons flowing, I am vulnerable, naked. I am both me and the essence of womanhood. I am Lore-Spinner of tales I wish I did not recall. I am Story-Teller of tragedy, both my own and that of others. I plait the colours, a Maypole of Bardic fertility and terrible sadness.
I am the skin beneath the covering; the face unadorned; I am the lines of pain and age; I am the rumpled tissues around the body from earlier wounds; I am human imperfection and damage and survival.
My silver scales transmute into feathers; my face draws in to form a midnight beak. My vocal cords, grating, beat in time with drum and stick and dance and the murderous flurry of other Ravens to create the gritty and thrumming harshness of embryonic song.
Sound catapults out as note-stones, a scale of pain and loss, a lamenting minor key.
We croak, caw and call in unison.