The Ravens

One of my most beautiful memories.

I was finally back in the mountains, on the dusty trails I loved so much. Soon I made my way sideways through the undergrowth, climbed along a dry creek bed and finally reached an untouched expanse of snow that had lasted the summer up here.

Just as I was about to enter it, there was a rustling above me. There were two ravens that were closely entangled, almost touching me, turning around, rising and falling again, hooked into each other and spinning around.

Once, twice, again and again.

To this day I do not know whether I witnessed a life-and-death struggle or a primitive love play.

But my heart sang with joy, for it was still alive then, and since that day I have loved the ravens.

 

Today I am rarely in the mountains. The dusty roads still call me, but it is becoming easier and easier to silence their voices.

Only sometimes I still go to animal parks and look at the black birds, look into their dark eyes and wait for my heart to be stirred.

But there is nothing more.

I only see tired animals, crammed into their cage, and my reflection in their eyes.

Staring. Delivered. All of us.

On either side of the cage.

Perhaps that’s why I think I’m her brother?

 

And every time I see the ravens, I think of Rimbaud.

 

„ …

Then let from all the clouds

The ravens burst, these delicious beasts!

Engulfed Division razor-sharp screams,

frosty winds attack your nests!

… “

 

I know almost nothing about him.

Just like I don’t know about the Ravens.

But both of them, with their black eyes full of suffering, seem to me to look deeper into humanity than the rest of us.

 

And they both gave me the same gift.

Some days I long for wisdom. I want to suck out the marrow of life, take all the knowledge and love in the world and never sleep again.

But sometimes I just wanna follow my dreams. I don’t want to complain with books, I don’t want to know anything about the world and all its suffering, but simply be thrown even deeper into myself by others.

 

And both of them give me that, that coming out of me and an astonished falling into my very own self.

 

Rimbaud speaks of autumn, which I love so much, of dying, of the transience of life. And about the ravens, who know all that.

 

“… You, along the yellow rivers,

on ways of deceased Golgotha

over ditches, over pits

spread out, pull yourselves together!

By the thousands, over France’s fields,

where the dead sleep the day before yesterday,

… “

 

And long-forgotten images rise in me. Memories, delusions, faces and horrors.

Rimbaud is more than just a poet. He’s an original creator, who creates a world before us.

He reminds us of the battlefields of France, of all the young men who died for the cold dreams of the old.

He reminds us of all the battles we humans must fight. The battlefields within us, within me, my torn soul and all its battles.

 

It reminds me of a young woman I couldn’t live with and all the suffering, anger and despair of that time.

A friend who could not hold me, and his tears.

All the anguish, the fear, the emptiness.

And my loneliness.

 

It reminds me of the freezing cold of my winter, which is lonely like the kiss of a loveless woman and of the paths we stumble alone towards our goal.

 

And all this reminds me of Rimbaud himself, the better me. Who rejected his art, who preferred to hunt large animals, until he finally died, young and broken, in his mother’s hut.

A symbol of all those who failed in life.

 

And they always remind me of the ravens. The ravens I once saw.

They remember death. The fight, the love play, the end.

 

And despite the winter, despite the ice and cold we live in, it reminds me of the hope that can blossom everywhere, even in places we would never suspect.

The hope in every word of encouragement, in every kind gesture.

Hope, even for those of us who are on the ground.

Maybe for us.

 

„…

But saints of the air, in oak crowns

– lost mast on magical night –

Leave the wrens in May to them,

who are gagged at the bottom of the forest

in the grass

with no chance of escape

in abject defeat.”

 

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