Would-be god


Again, I’m on the beach in front of Treadwell, looking to Aki like I am worshiping a raven. This one lands on the splintered top of an old piling that had been driven into the seabed over a hundred years ago. Then, the tough column of wood formed part of the Mexican Mine wharf. I’m on my knees trying to frame the purple-black bird against the flank of Mt. Roberts. Last spring I assumed a similar supplicating posture in front of a raven on this beach for the same reason. I felt like a fool then as I do now.


Aki trots over to the piling and barks. The raven croaks back. I struggle to take the bird’s portrait while they converse. Minutes after we leave the beach for the woods that have grown up around the mining ruins, the same raven lands nearby. It struts at an oblique angle that allows it to keep one of its hard little eyes on me as it approaches. Since there is nothing for him to scavenge nearby, he must be seeking attention, not food. No, attention is the wrong word to describe his motivation. It’s admiration he is after. Aki is having none of it. The little dog wanders away from the bird who-would-be-a-god, nose down, tail up, trying to set a good example for me.


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