Raven Energy

Raven Energy © Kerry Hardy

It seems our house sitter may be losing it.  She’s become scared of the dogs.  The ravens.  The spiders and creatures that may come into the house.  She won’t go to the wash because it’s too dangerous.  There are snakes, she said.  She’s basically feeling scared of wildness.

I talked to my friend Darron this morning.  It’s probably the raven energy, he said.  It’s powerful stuff.

Raven energy.  Now there’s something to think about.

Darron is one of the few Hopi who gets, I dare say identifies, with our perspective.  He works for Facilities at Health Care.  He was one who originally opposed the destruction of the native nest.  Wait, he advised.  Wait a few months and soon enough they will fly away.  At the time, he said that all things have a purpose, that there’s a reason those birds are here on this earth.

Which is to say that every living thing occupies an environmental niche.  Each has evolved to survive in a particular place in a particular way.  And the life and demise of every thing allows others to survive.  Each of us has co-evolved with the creatures around us.  Unmanaged, we together compose an ecosystem.

Which brings us to raven energy.

The universe (at least as we know it) is basically energy moving through a system.  There’s the energy and matter that we encounter in our daily lives:  speeding cars, a musical note, plants, granite fireplace stones, metal bowls, breaking glasses.  And then of course, there’s dark matter and dark energy which we don’t yet have the correct range of senses to detect.  That stuff composes 95% of the universe and yet we can’t perceive it.  And we don’t know what the heck it is.  We don’t yet fully understand what butterflies and dogs and horses can sense.  Perhaps they know of dark energy.  And if we spoke the same language or had the hearts to listen, perhaps they could tell us.

As for the scant world that we know of – basically things and movement and explosions and music – these are really just the suds floating on the surface of the “real” universe.

In that world – the world that us humans know of – there’s kinetic energy; basically energy released from it’s material form.  The rock rolling down the hill.  A vibrating violin string, Ichiro’s bat swinging through space.  And there’s potential energy that’s still locked into atoms:  Ichiro’s bat at rest. The stilled bow.  The rock resting at the top of the hill.  Or better yet:  Ichiro’s bat waiting to be burned. And even Ichiro himself, his flesh waiting to be consumed by our ravens.

Ichiro’s flesh consumed becomes raven energy.  It’s that life force that has become instantiated temporarily in the DNA and bodies and behavior and flight of the ravens.  In this form, it feels like old energy.  It’s fierce and keen and primeval.  We associate it with death because ravens consume death.  And there has always been death which probably accounts for why ravens have been around for so long.  But they’re also opportunists which means they figure things out.  They can be just as prone to eat life (corn), which is why we just as easily revile them.

Darron advised that we need to be careful around those birds.  They can probably even hypnotize you, he said.  Which may very well be true.  Five people now are following their behavior, tending to their needs, helping them be who they want to be.

Burn cedar, Darron advised.  Bless your house sitter.  Smoke the house.  Smoke yourselves.  Smoke the wheels of your car and even Mazie’s violin.  You need to heal this, he said.

He said that yesterday they came to visit him.  They were at the Health Care physical plant observing his movement and behavior.  He approached to see if they would land on him.  The ravens gazed, perhaps with interest, and flew away.

The Windmill and the Whale

I wish we’d bought a map, Anna says.

Don’t worry, I mutter. Look on the phone. We have Google maps.

Dawn. Driving through west Texas. Somewhere southeast of Lubbock. This entire corridor is given over to energy production.

It once was energy for people, energy in the form of cattle. Solar energy harvested by grasses, concentrated into bovine fat and flesh by the gut of a steer, then rendered for our consumption.

Then the land was given over to extracting energy for things: factories, cars, lightbulbs, plastic juice bottles. And the energy came mainly in the form of oil. Ancient solar energy harvested by cycads, velociraptors, all manner of antediluvian life, then rendered by heat and pressure and time into thick black goo.

Biological life condensed into energy to give life to mechanical things.

West Texas wafts with the acrid smell of crude. this morning we drive for miles and can’t escape it.

Until we hit the turbines.

Sixty. One hundred. One hundred and twenty miles of horizon to horizon wind turbines. Solar energy heating the air that then moves in currents and drafts around the planet, to be harvested by windmills to once again feed…things.

There ain’t no farms here. And not much in the way of people. Farmsteads or ranches that once held purchase on thousand acre spreads are now abandoned, crumbling at the ankles of these Cervantian giants.

Those homes that still remain resemble more minuscule bacteria cultures lodged in the creases of the flesh of some great beast.

Any advocate for (or future victim of) wind energy should check this place out.

But it’s clean energy, Anna counters. I think it’s beautiful.

But I think of an unadulterated horizon. Of ranch hands dead and buried. Of migratory birds and raptors, of insects. Of virgin life. Of consequences of which we have no foreknowledge.

And clean energy for what? For things. For this rough beast. For Google server farms. And Google maps.

What, I wonder, would happen if we chose to have no energy? Those turbines power some Leviathan that evades our comprehension, though it is in part of our own making. What if we chose to abandon our devices and starve this thing?

Abilene. Where do we turn next? Anna asks.

Look on the phone, I say. But too late, we’ve missed our exit. I wish we had a map, she says.

It’s going to be a bit longer to Austin today.

Posted from my iPhone