Story and illustrations by BETH SURDUT
or are you just happy to see me? -4There's a new raven lurking in the lavender. He's bigger and more cautious than my regulars, who swoop in on fly-bys to see if I've put out more eggs. I know they love junk food and can spot a fast-food logo from on high, but I just can’t bring myself to feed them greasy fries. The newbie, watching to see if the egg is really available, is stalking amid the sweet-scented purple mint flowers, flying up to land on the portal roof where he hops four times, having a conversation with himself. Then he’s back to the bushes, peeking out like a child playing hide and seek. I’m doing the same thing in my studio, trying to hide and see without giving myself away. Now he's on the rock, head swinging back and forth to see if he's alone. He picks up the prize in his beak and takes off, his feathers gleaming blue and silver. I see a feather drift off his body—jet black, woven with emerald and amethyst lights. A few days ago, seeing five shining ravens swooping around my piece of New Mexico sky, I put out three eggs. I heard the whoosh of wings and some ravenish comments as I went inside and walked down
the hallway to my studio. There, through the glass door, I saw winged shadows lofting. The eggs were gone. Just for fun, I immediately placed two more eggs in the usual spot atop the rock fountain and, for the next hour, watched desire being overcome by confusion. These guys thought they had raided a nest so, much as they wanted those eggs, well, something wasn't right. Swooping in, slowing to look but not land and touch, they wove a loose tapestry of yearning. The eggs remained until the next morning—a new dawn, a new raid. We are on intimate terms, Raven and I—he feeds my spirit while I provide the eggs. Lest you think our association is based on food, which it had never been before, Raven has taken to calling loudly to me again, wherever I may be. For more about “Listening to Ravens” and Beth Surdut’s art for the mind and body, CLICK HERE. For more about Beth Surdut, see page 164.
T h e Z e n c h i l a d a . c o m Fal l 2010
Published on Nov 22, 2011
A digital culinary magazine featuring beautifully designed stories, art, poetry and recipes exploring local and global conversations about f...