Thursday, February 13, 2020


Raven / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / unframed / $68 including shipping


THE RAVEN IS A STAR of Native American lore - here is a story published by Haida artist Bill Reid in 1984:

How Raven Brought Light to the World

At that time, the whole world was dark. Inky, pitchy, all-consuming dark, blacker than a thousand stormy winter midnights, blacker than anything anywhere has been since.

The reason for all this blackness has to do with the old man in the house by the river, who had a box, which contained a box, which contained a box, which contained an infinite number of boxes, each nestled in a box slightly larger than itself - until finally there was a box so small all it could contain was all the light in the universe.

The old man hides the box with the light because he's afraid to see whether his daughter is beautiful or ugly. In a ploy to steal the box, the raven shrinks himself to become a hemlock needle in a basket of water. The daughter swallows him, and soon, the raven is reborn from her as a raven/human child.

He begins to ask his grandfather to open the boxes, and the old man does, opening them one after the other after the other.

When he opens the box containing the light, the raven steals it and flies out of the house, causing light to spread throughout the world, and revealing the beauty of the old man's daughter.

As the raven flies away, the eagle tries to steal the light from him. The raven drops some, and in the story, this light becomes the moon and the stars.

For Today

"He painted until his cursive brushes were only whispers of rawness on the thin ivory. Only the walls and the ravens that watched knew the boy with the paint-stained palms 
weaved his art onto his sketchpad on the park bench at lunchtimes,
 and only the trees whispered it like a prayer." 

- Grace Curley, "The Light that Binds Us"

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