The bunny and the big black bird

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Today I went outside. I was in need of something real. And what is more real than death. I was heading to the six ancient grave hills, when I saw this bird, this big black bird. It was not a buzzard, the most common bird of prey in this land, and it was too big to be a jackdaw. “Raven”, I thought instantly! But ravens have not been sighted in the Netherlands since the nineteenth century. They are considered an extinct species. Most likely it was a black crow or a similar carrion-eater then, picking at carcass of this rabbit, conveniently killed by someone or something else. Next I saw the rabbit, on which the crow had been feasting on a few minutes before. Either the carcass was still fresh or the cold kept any insects away. It was not a dirty or messy scene. The sight of it comforted me. The simplicity of it all comforted me immensely: the empty moors, one black bird, one bunny. I left a few nuts in honour of Rhydd and Bran, the god he serves. And then I turned back home, my mind pleasantly emptied of any thoughts other than of the crow.

Simplicity of living has been occupying my thoughts for some time. This weekend I have been getting rid of clutter and distractions: facebook friends that aren’t friends exactly, digital clutter, books, unsuitable gifts, old paper files. And together with this clutter I have been letting go of guilt: guilt about not reading the books I felt I should, about debts not yet fully paid off, and about not using stuff I paid good money for. I have been cleaning house in a massive way, working towards a more minimalist lifestyle, purging my life of anything that doesn’t add beauty, joy or purpose to my life.

What better symbol of simplicity than the crow: the carrion-bird, the eater of the dead. He gives purpose even to dead things by eating them. He eliminates the purpose-less. This is what I seek too, the elimination of purposelessness.

Bran, master of crows and ravens.
You who have been cleared of one’s own head, but without loosing it,
please clear mine.

On Valentine’s Day I was gifted an hourglass, such a beautiful thing. I have turned it over 5 times just after receiving it, just watching the sand sink away. I suspect it will be a wonderful tool for rebooting my meditation sessions. A big hurrah for all headless gods and saints!

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