the rook

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi


I had occasion to go out of town last weekend. It was a business trip I selected mostly for the virtue of it being in Bend; which has many fine things to recommend it. Including:
  • Access to Mt. Bachelor for late season skiing
  • Beautiful weather and high desert scenery
  • A variety of fine golf courses
  • Excellent hiking and cycling opportunities
  • A dear friend as resident


So, I packed my Koko to the brim with bicycle, golf clubs, running shoes, Clementine and my sense of adventure. I had somewhat impetuously decided to stay up almost all night long the previous evening, (that being a tale for another time) so was running a bit short on sleep when I set out Friday afternoon.

I made fantastic time, as it seems Koko runs best at 85mph and delights in hitting 95 to pass. Pretty much everyone. It was an exhilarating drive.

However, though I had made dinner plans, upon arrival I was so beat that I simply found my hotel and crawled gratefully into the large soft bed and knew no more that day.

The next day was when I was forcefully reminded that though Bend has many fine things to recommend it (see above) it also has something which can make it hard to enjoy any of those fine things if you are a delicate flower, such as myself. Namely:

There is no air in the air over there.

Take a girl who is already asthmatic and oxygen deprived and then jack her up 3.353 ft over the elevation in which she has stewed her whole life and you will discover she is exhausted. Pretty much constantly. Just sitting there.

After I’d spent all day in my conference I was eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery in active-like fashion. Alas, my bike tires were flat and I had no presta valve pump handy. 

(Sad trombone)

Nevermind! My run will require no more gear than the shoes on my feet! Off I go!! Right up until the end of mile 1 where the valiant struggle my lungs were making to extract rare and precious oxygen from the thin and indifferent atmosphere caused a stitch in my side such that it was much as though Mother Nature decided I have asked too much of her with my preternaturally youthful visage, slender form, and ample bust so chose that moment to exact revenge by punching me repeatedly in the ribcage with brutal force. From inside me.

(Sad trombone squared)

After this assault on my conviction and respiratory system I felt defeated such that I could not face the prospect of dinner with dear resident friend (though, this was due in large part to the suggestion that we have Sushi which I can enjoy only under the best of circumstances – these not being those – and defies my strong personal conviction that eating seafood in the desert is for suckers) and went straight back to my large soft hotel bed and knew no more that day, either.

In the morning, dear resident friend and I played golf. 

(Happy trombone?)

Which apparently, was all the good-time I could stand, because though I had hours of time and nothing pressing to get home for, I headed back there more or less forthwith; a brief living-room electric guitar concert notwithstanding.

And when I arrived, I badly wanted sleep. Because the 26 or so hours I got of it over the week-end was somehow insufficient.

But before I did, I sat at my altar and pulled a card. Mostly as a means of reflecting on my impetuous all-night adventure of the previous Thursday/Friday. The result was interesting, and gave me satisfying things to mull over. And I drifted off considering them.

Then I had what I would characterize as one of the few but clearly prophetic dreams of my life. 

You see, I dream all the time. About silly, mundane, absurd things. And I remember them, usually. For me, dreaming seems mostly to serve as outlet for my intense social paranoia; everyone in my dreams is usually angry/disgusted/cruel toward me. Even perfectly lovely people who have never expressed a moment’s displeasure with me in real life.

So this was different.

In my dream I sat with my deck in front of me and I pulled one tarot card and then another. The first was “The Raven” and the other was “The Rook” 

Now, apart from the fact that neither of these cards actually exist, a Rook is essentially a carrion Crow. Meaningfully here, a bird that thrives on the discarded. That can create life from death. That can extract good from that which has been despoiled.

When I woke, I was struck by the symbolism in the dream, which was in itself rare and I got up to look at Raven medicine:

Magic, Healing, Creation

If a raven totem has come into our life,

magic is at play.

Raven activates the energy of magic

and links it to our will and intention.

 With this totem, we can make great changes

in our life; the ability to take the unformed thought and make it reality.

 The raven shows us how to go into the dark

of our inner self and bring out the light of our true self;

resolving inner conflicts which have long been buried.

This is the deepest power of healing we can possess

So very much of what I have been working to achieve lies in this very quarter. To journey into the dark to reclaim myself whole and entire, from where I abandoned me at the behest of well-meaning but unknowing others. Those I trusted in place of myself.

The Rook reminds me of the things which have passed out of usefulness. Which have been discarded, but for the meaty sustaining truths which they have held for me. The Raven speaks to my capacity to create healing after a journey through darkness and manifest the joy I have been seeking.

And all the signs from the wider world are that this work is about to have momentous results. That to embody myself fully again will call forth all that I have been hoping to create in my life for so many years. I feel the force behind my will; the power of my prayers. I am my own and able to claim what serves me and set free all that does not. 

To journey through darkness on inky wings to come once again into the light.