Saturday, September 26, 2020


There seem to be more crows in Seattle than people; their caws are wherever you find yourself. Four floors up, I created a small, secured feeding bowl on the ledge outside a window and filled it with grapes, crackers, and unsalted peanuts roasted in their shells. For this ritual, I carry 9 peanuts with me for the day, pausing to talk to them, tell them how I am feeling and thinking. There are actually 18 peanuts since there are two in each shell. I break them in half in the early evening, placing one half of each out for the crows, while I open and eat the other halves. The last round of crows visits the ledge before flying off to the trees for the night. 

 I smell the empty shell halves before sleeping with 9 peanuts in my belly and 9 peanuts in 9 different crow bellies. While drifting off, I imagine the crows sleeping in their group. Many crows visit the ledge throughout the day, but these evening crows coming back to roost are a rowdy, noisy bunch of teenage crows. They are fast, diving into the bowl for the peanuts, chasing one another until they land in the trees to eat. Finally, I imagine connecting 9 silver threads in my stomach to each of the 9 crow stomachs. Then I braid our threads until we are one strong cord. When I wake, I sniff the empty shell halves, then write in my notebook. What were they feeling and thinking? Where were we flying? I know we were.