Black Crow Blues

It is now -2 days to my leaving Cambridge for good.

Two days ago my dog managed to grab hold of a crow in the woods. Two crows screamed to try and scare him off. I called him off but the crows were still cawing desperately. Then a magpie and a wood pigeon tried to approach, and sharp as anything the two crows jumped on the branches closest to them to keep them away. Their cawing was so mournful I felt so sorry for them, I had to say sorry out loud to them. I know my dog can’t really help his preying instinct but I felt the misery of these two crows.

I went back today and saw why he’d managed to catch it, and why they were so desperate: it was a young crow, about half their adult size. The crows had moved away, left the nest.

I still feel everything tangibly, fiercely. I walk up and down the road to take my daughter to school and take in every flower, every wall, every window. I know I won’t see any of it again.

The song that rang true for me today as I walked back was Bob Dylan’s Black Crow Blues. In particular these two verses:

Sometimes I’m thinkin’ I’m
Too high to fall
Sometimes I’m thinkin’ I’m
Too high to fall
Other times I’m thinkin’ I’m
So low I don’t know
If I can come up at all

Black crows in the meadow
Across a broad highway
Black crows in the meadow
Across a broad highway
Though it’s funny, honey
I just don’t feel much like a
Scarecrow today

Sometimes, the desperate cawing, that unique quality of theirs, all black, and hunched, somehow so… present: you just want to stay, and be with them.

Whilst searching for it on the web however, I saw there is another Black Crow Blues. The latter is even more poignant: an artist I had never heard of before, Townes Van Zandt.

Somehow, I feel I can’t add anything to his story and his voice.

I have been feeling vast amounts of stuff as I prepared to leave this city. The calm with which this is happening, the time it is taking, the fact that my dear husband took most of the work on himself, the lack of panic and hassle and stress, the lovely anxiety pills I have been taking, all make it subdued, surreal, stretched out. Somehow I have become more sharply aware of what a tearing all those moves in my life have been. Of all the opportunities lost forever they were: the lost opportunity of making a home beyond my immediate family when I got one, the lost opportunity of making stuff that doesn’t work work, of fixing stuff.

Like this lamp.

WP_000020I got this at a second hand shop, in Yorkshire, when I had recently moved there. We kept postponing as we never had the money, or it never took priority, to repaint it, fix a few screws… so i just kept it like this: it moved house with us, and came here. I love this lamp. I loved this lamp. But, there was no room to take her up in the car, and she was very rickety and broken… so we agreed she had to go. Chance had it that my husband hurt his foot so it had to be me taking her to the dump. I hugged her, until a kindly operative there said “I’ll take it, it looks heavy”. And just like that, she was gone.

So many people I’ve come across who hold on dearly to their things. My things never make it along with me, my things are too much trouble, they’re too broken, it is best to let them go.

I couldn’t help but identify with her and I was very sad leaving her behind, my lovely green lamp. But that’s it, no time or opportunity to fix anything, what isn’t fixed before we go, will just be lost forever.

Only two more days to go.


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