The Unkindness of Ravens

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This blog post took me a minute to write, I worked on it for a few hours, not sure how i should finish this year. Noose Ends has been a ride, so many highs and so many more lows, but I am here for the long term and I am not dead. I will not die. These things I write will last much longer than my heart will. I hope you carry them with the beat as it echoes into our future.

Snap your rope.

Snap your fishing wires.

Climb down from the chair and join us.

Live.

Have you ever had that feeling in your chest like someone tied a bunch of fishing line around your lungs and just kept pulling? You know, like there were no fish in the lake and they needed something to do with their free time?

It comes in waves of tension that wrap around your chest and tighten all of your muscles. It can get hard to breathe in these moments, it can be difficult to think. The world around us still spins and we are hit with a tight gripped kind of shellshock, centralized around our hearts.

This man and his fishing line can crawl out of any crack we aren’t watching, the things we forgot to do, the things we know that we shouldn’t. The things we haven’t thought of in years, he comes like a shadow and wraps his wire around us to squeeze unrelenting, robbing our lungs from air.

I’m talking, of course, about anxiety.

I generally don’t pinpoint specific feelings or ideas in this blog like anxiety specifically. I think we are more complex than a handful of medical terms that doctors use to describe our lives. I’ve been anxious about a million things lately. Peoples opinion of me, how things are going at a job I don’t work at any longer, I’ve been anxious about the things I’ve said like you wouldn’t believe. I want every word to come from my lips gilded and shining with some kind of wisdom beyond my own years and I don’t know how to produce it. I’ve struggled with it tirelessly for the last few weeks.

Which, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I am not an anxious person. I’ve been nervous for upcoming projects and the like, but I’ve generally kept my shit together.

I realized that it’s been so bad because I’ve been thinking of the sick man with his fishing wire. I’ve been so focused on my anxiety that I am actively provoking it. Like I am summoning the wrinkly demon from the fissures of the jokes I’ve cracked. Like he will pull up next to me after sunset and climb out of his Cadillac with long legs, his fingers twisting wire and climb my stairs, to sit in my room and wait for me to find him crouched behind my bed.

I worry about things. How my relationships will unfold, how my books will sell, how my blog performs, how I will find my next paycheck and so on. I’ve come to realize something from all of this however, I don’t need to worry.

I might be followed daily by this tall monster, his fingers might threaten to wrap around my neck and strangle the love out of me, but he is not the only thing that has followed me to this place.

I have been graced by the presence of hundreds of ravens, carrying with them all manner of gifts for me. The broken brush I use to comb my hair, the little notes of love left to me in a sunflower field. They lift my clothes onto my shoulders, they drag my ankles to the floor and the pull the sun up from behind the mountains every morning. These ravens have followed my since the day I was born and they have not chosen to leave because of this man, this monster that thinks he can haunt me.

My head is filled with things more horrifying than he could ever place there, and when I realized that the monsters I created for my books and my stories are much more dangerous and devastating than he could ever be, that fishing line suddenly snapped. He still follows me, threatening me with his gangly presence and his sick, shriveled promises that my future will fall apart, that flowers will die and my house will be stolen from me, but I am no longer afraid of that.

I will build a new house out of the bones of broken ravens that have served me since I was born. I will create a new place to live from their thin ribs and I will shelter myself there. I will adorn the fear of love lost with their midnight feathers and remember that they were the things that brought that love to me in the first place, that the ravens were sent by something much more powerful than I am, and I will rest my eyes, knowing that this man can try to steal my house, my possessions, my happiness and my future, but he will not have these things. I am blessed beyond measure by these eternal ravens, I will revel in the glory that they show to me in small gifts every day.

This man may take everything he thinks possible, but he will never steal my home, which rests within my heart. He may take my things but he will never take my memories of them. He may steal my happiness, but he will never have my contentment. He may think he can steal my future, but he will find nothing there, because my future doesn’t exist yet. I am still building it, paving a road towards a new home, sunflowers in the front yard, a tall door that will greet me every evening, and an unkindness of ravens circling the world I have managed to build through all of the fear, doubt and worry. This man will not take me, and he will not take you either.

You may be surrounded by black ravens too, but they are your friends. They are your gift givers, all you need is to find them and focus on them. They will bring people, they will bring jobs and opportunities, they will bring the passion needed to build talents and they are sent from Something that knows much more than you or I ever will. So I will trust them.

They may be an unkindness, but they are filled with kindness and love, and I will rest within the nest they have gifted to me for as long as I live, keeping it wrapped up and secured with broken fishing wire as they laugh at the tall man below us on the ground, unable to steal the things that mean the most to us.

Check the website for news on Year Five! The official announcement will come on Tuesday Oct. 31st!

 

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