A raven feather lies on the top of the desk in my writing room. Another one stretches across a display on the table where I usually pray in the morning.
They have special meaning to me. They are symbols of mystery and of a kind of connectedness that reaches way beyond both raven and me. They also represent two particular moments of such connectedness, and a path taken because of those moments.
Ravens have long represented the spiritual dimension of reality. To the Indigenous peoples of North America they have been seen as a symbol of the Creator, or of spiritual transformation. They also have been portrayed in the role of trickster. That Creator/trickster set of roles hints at the troubles humans have placing trust in the Great Mystery.
A raven was the first bird Noah is said to have released from the ark to search for dry land. The prophet Elijah was cared for by ravens during a time of great hardship. A number of saints and sages are associated with ravens.
I chose to use images of ravens on the footer of this website, and perhaps will include them elsewhere over time, as a way of highlighting the connections between nature and healthy spirituality that are at the heart of my writing. That will become more apparent in the future, I hope, as a raven plays a key role in the novel I’m currently revising. If all goes well, I’ll send it off to a publisher when I’m done and it will find a home.
The raven feather on my writing desk is one I picked up in front of Sigurd Olson’s writing shack several years ago when I stayed overnight at the house. I am best known for my biography of Sigurd, and have immense gratitude for him and the entire Olson family. I’ve got a new collection of Sigurd’s journals coming out next spring, and I’m very excited about it.
Now that I have a new book coming out–my first in years–and have other book projects underway, I realized it’s time to heed the advice I’ve long received and create my own author’s website.
Of course the bulk of it is static content; it’s the blog that will receive the most updates. I’ve blogged before, but focused on a fairly narrow range of subject matter. I suspect this one will be much more diverse. But I’m content to let it develop organically over time. I keep getting all kinds of email about marketing my blog, and something called SEO. Personally, I’d rather listen to the raven. It’s always worked before.