Raven Ash no#2

As soon as I settled on these two elements of the natural world to represent myself – the following flowed:

Raven Ash
tree and bird
show me light
show me black
things you’ve seen
things you’ve heard
take me forward
take me back

carry me through wind and rain
hold me in the dark wet earth
shelter me in cave and cliff
hold my death and hold my birth

speak to me
your secret tongue
listen until we are one
seed and feather
egg and leaf
what lies above
what lies beneath

between the two
I find the centre
stillness movement
slowness speed
breadth and focus
surface deep
a place to stand
a place to speak

Raven Ash
tree and bird
show me light
show me black
things you’ve seen
things you’ve heard
take me forward
take me back                                                                                

lift me on your wings and branches
shift me through time and space
feed me the quiet seedling’s growth
show me thunder’s face

I will watch and listen
as you bring me in to life
I will close my eyes and see
I will close my mouth and speak
I will balance between the earth and sky
between awake and sleep
I will walk the edge of winter’s knife
dream and dance in summer’s flame

Raven Ash
tree and bird
you name me
and I begin

who I am

Raven Ash

As I wrote in “About Me” I feel the need to maintain some anonymity at the moment, but I still want a name I can use which carries some significance to me.

So I looked to my connection to the natural world and, indulging my interest in Celtic mythology, I searched the meanings behind trees and animals, settling at last on the ash tree and the raven.

I had been keen to use a word in its original Gaelic – but struggled to work out the pronunciation. I initially liked the Willow with its connections to poets seeking inspiration. But I settled on the Ash with its connection to the spiritual worlds. Its known as the “World Tree” connecting our world with the lower and upper worlds. Known as “Yggdrasil”, it fills the same role in Norse mythology.

Turning my attention to the animal world I thought first of the Owl (I hear them call at night in the trees near my house) but found myself drawn to the Raven. I responded at first with caution – I felt the raven had a very dark presence (metaphorically, symbolically) – but realised I knew almost nothing about it. I discovered it is closely associated with Scotland, with Celtic and Norse myth. There was even a raven in New Zealand, but it is long extinct. There is a strong connection between the raven and death – and I imagine this could lead to some poetic writing work. Death is playing a large part in my thinking and imagination at the moment. However, the raven is also connected in myth to mysteries and memories. And I’ve realised the darkness of the Raven is a perfect fit with the black used in self-image that New Zealanders are often so comfortable with.

So I settled on the Raven and the Ash, and combined into “Ashven” it becomes a name I am happy to use here.

A Hidden Wholeness

Taking time today to read. “A Hidden Wholeness: the journey toward an undivided life” by Parker J. Palmer.

Can’t help but think that the title of this book reflects a similar intent to O’Donohue’s “invisible necessity”.

Its all about finding ways to connect with one’s true self – about listening to one’s own inner voice. Its so easy to become lost behind the masks and barriers we use to negotiate our way through the world and to try to keep ourselves safe. I know I struggle sometimes with being genuinely myself – I feel there is too much at risk, too much to lose. And sometimes I am too compliant, too willing to follow the easy path. And I know that way lies the risk of becoming lost to oneself – but I crave a peaceful life.

I remember this was confirmed when I was exploring my Enneagram personality type a few months ago, I came out as a “Type 9: the Peacemaker – The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent“. I feel that if I was more in-touch with my inner voice, my true self, I could be braver, bolder, less will to put up with things – but it all hangs on knowing what I want, what is truly important to me.