“If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”
~ Rev. Henry Ward Beecher
The new painting shown here on the right is titled Memory of the Crow and is included in the Little Gems show at the West End Gallery which has its opening this evening.
I’ve always felt there was something special about crows, especially in regard to their intelligence. I couldn’t agree any more than I do with the words above from Henry Ward Beecher. Especially about the cleverness of men.
But the intelligence of crows is obvious to anyone who watches them for any amount of time. This was evident to the Native Americans who held these birds and their wisdom in high esteem as part of their belief system and their mythology.
Maybe because they are always near, always in close proximity to man as they live off the refuse he creates, the crops he plants and the vermin he attracts. This omnipresence gives the crow a sense of being a constant, unblinking witness to all that happens. And maybe this constant watching breeds that sense of wisdom that some of us see in them.
It makes me wonder what the crow sometimes thinks or remembers. How do they perceive us and what is their awareness of us? Are our good and Bad Times their good and bad times as well? When we abandon a place do they feel sense of loss? Do they attach themselves in any way to us?
Or do they see it as a passing of time with us as ephemeral visitors passing through their eternal world?
Those are the kind of questions that rise for me in this piece. Makes me wish I could talk with the crow…
Here’s a link to a post and update from a number of years back about a crow that lived around my studio. It also includes a version of Joni Mitchell’s Black Crow from Diana Krall– good listening on a Friday morning.