Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post: Rusty - Living with Crow

The following is a post written by Rusty, my husband.

Me (Rusty) and Crow, the love of my life

If you are reading this, then I feel like I know you.  I see what Crow shares here and I see the responses, and it always makes me smile.  At the moment, Crow is working her way 'up the hill' to look in on some bunnies that are likely to be delivering tonight.  I, on the other hand, am enjoying a nice cocktail of remnant Methocarbamol and Tordal injections, 800mg of Ibuprofen, and a couple of PBR's (for those outside the US, PRB= Pabst Blue Ribbon, a cheap, watery, but surprisingly crisp lager).  A couple of nights ago we were sitting in the living room, playing with the kids and I had the big idea to do a headstand.  The first few times were spectacular;  Sophia was impressed and inspired.  The last time, however, was not at all impressive.  Something in my neck decided to object rather adamantly to the sum total of my 220 lbs bearing down on it.  I think it is getting better, but I have enjoyed stopping for a weekend to allow the muscle spasms to rest.  I spent a bit of time reading blogs, and especially, Edenland's recent post, 'God is a Blogger.'  
My Home, God's Appalachian Mountains, according to Edenland.

Crow and I love to sit with a freshly opened bottle of Merlot or a rum and cola and talk about concepts of spirituality, magick, and of course, God.  She is far more empathetic and feeling than I am, and gives word to those thoughts and feelings like noone I have ever met.  I, on the other hand, use words and logic to hold the feelings at bay, to objectify them and analyze them, to measure their content and weigh their authors, to skip ahead to the conclusion and judge along the way.  I am a critic and a skeptic, I am both a scientist (one who loves science) and a Scientist (one who has been initiated into that Cult of Logic limited to the 5 Senses) and I work hard at separating the two.  So as we spoke of Edenland's post, and the lager settled just perfectly into my belly, and my neck began to support the weight of my own head, I began less to analyze the intent of the post and more to absorb the poetry of it:  the Divine light is shone upon Crow's Appalachian Mountains, the human-ness in all deities, the music of words when someone is speaking from their heart...

 That really got me started thinking about the Crow you all have come to know, and the Crow I know.  They are not very different, except that I probably know a bit more.  Because the 'Holiday' season has been so busy here, she has not written much.  I miss it, I miss straggling into my office in the mornings looking for her bright words, light updates, and music of life before I start my day of logic and wandering.  So here goes, I am filling in, a bit, to give a perspective.

I was only twenty four years old when I met Crow.  I had left home at 17 for college, thinking that anything would be a preferable alternative to the minimum wage carpentry work or the dangerous coal mining work available to most of the men in my community.  I went 120 miles West, to Marshall University on the Ohio River, and never looked back.  Not for years and years.  My rejection of all things religious and fanatical led me to science, and that led me back to the Mystic when I went on to grad school with the sad realization that science could not answer the questions I had.  But science could, I realized, let me explore the magic of the Universe and get paid for it, while still mulling and puzzling, for myself, those burning questions that could not be put to words except for the broad, generic, and painful "WHY?"

As grad school finished up, a friend of mine invited me to travel with him to a conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He knew a lady there, he said, who was amazing.  He went regularly to these annual conferences as a volunteer, a part of a broad effort to facilitate recovery from childhood trauma for survivors of various ages.  This lady he mentioned was described as beautiful, smart, funny, empathic, caring, non-judgemental;  she ran the art show for the participants and attendees for these conferences.  There was a beach nearby, and I was waiting to hear back from the Department of Interior regarding a rare plant conservationist position, so I figured, why not?

Sidebar - Why Not?  I was broke and had no interest in the subject.  I was leaving a messy relationship (aren't all grad school relationships messy?) and I really just wanted to focus on my Science, my Career, Something Other Than Paying Attention to Living...  Why now, of all times, would I dissappear to Ft Lauderdale for a week or so?

My friend covered the gas, he covered the room, he covered a few beers, so I was game.  On the drive down, we stopped at more than one establishment where scantily clad ladies served up deep fried foods and lager.  Our discussions turned to women rather readily.  I recounted my basic requirements, in a self rigtheous fashion:  "Non smoker, NO KIDS, mentally stable."  That was me, not picky, but cautious...

We found our rooms, settled in a bit, then went down to the bar.  I had a nice 20 oz porter, and as I finished it my friend said to me - "Hey, there is Kim(Crow), I want to introduce you to her."  What followed were some of the most profound days of my life.  I picked my head up and looked ahead at a beautiful, elegant, and very warm, smiling lady.  Olive-skinned and freckled, with warm eyes, and a mile that hugged you with magic, she said, "Hello"  I mumbled something, I disremember what, exactly, except that suddenly I had an intense need to go to my room and hide.  Destiny, whom I did not believe in at all, had slapped me in the face and I was confused.  My heart was unstoppable, pounding out ancient rhythms of its own remembrance, I could do nothing for it.  I went to my room, quietly, puzzled, confused.  Nothing made sense.  I had known so many women before, at so many levels, and I had categorized them all, friends, lovers, acquaintances, coworkers... and now here was something primal and teeth-baring, something larger than me and frightening but something dark haired and glowing from my dreams. 

 I went to sleep that night, and dreamed that I was small astronaut in a glowing blue suit.  There  were no tethers to hold me, and no oxygen lines to save me.  I was free.  I was floating in light gravity over the entirety of the earth, moving as guided by my thoughts.  Bright fruits reached up to present to me in the bright sun, and rainshowers were always accompanied by rainbows.  To land, I would intend it; and to take off, I would simply let go.

I woke up late for my volunteer position, and was assigned to "The Art Gallery."  Whom should I report to there, I asked, and the answer came back with finality:  Kim.  Oh OK, I have met her I mumbled.  And I climbed up the steps, ever so slowly, towards the Art Gallery.

I don't remember so much of the details.  I remember the warm smile overwhelming me.  I remember her asking my opinion on the placement of a certain piece.  I remember her pointing to an ethereal piece of art and saying, "That is mine."  I was transfixed.  I was a piece titled "Child of the Night,"  featuring an amazing full, blue moon.  I read the painting and fumbled in my pocket, for a printout of a poem I had written and never shared.  They both may be the subject of another post, but, long story short, she had painted what I had written, I had written what she had painted.  She knew my soul, and I knew her but I could not believe it.  There was no scientific basis for it, there was no logic to it.  It just burned, like you would imagine that silver moonlight would burn if it could, and it confused me.  And I could not stop looking at her, watching her.  Suddenly fairies were real and possible.  As were angels.  As was Love.  And it scared me.

We spent the next few days avoiding each other, seeking each other, disagreeing with each other, hanging onto each others' words.  The time came to catch the ride back to the mountains, to say goodbye, and I puzzled over and over again how to say goodbye to her.  Had I actually ever said Hello?  And did it matter?  Would I ever see her again?  Who am I, anyway, relative to her, the embodiment of a Goddess that I never even dreamed existed.  Maybe dreamed once, in the best of my dreams, when I was ten and she met me somewhere in the sky, above the branches of a feverish oak tree, and kissed me lightly on the cheek and laughed and disappeared... maybe...

I knew the next morning would be goodbye.  I had yet to even allow myself to look at her directly, to catch her gaze full-on.  So when I was invited by the group to stay another day, and join the after party at the pool, I was both relieved and apprehensive.  I didn't have to say goodbye, but conversely, I would have to be in the presence of the Great Mystery, Kim Crow, in nothing but swim trunks and the start of a goatee.  I was, to say the least, intimidated.

I busied myself and our group in the pool with various banter about coevolutionary strategies for social structure, for the recounting of time, for the domestication of animals, for development of civilization and language - anything vague enough to not require real opinion yet busy enough to prevent thoughts from lingering on the the present, the here and now.  I was at my flashiest and most charismatic, engaging everyone and enjoying the conversation with a variety of imaginative and brilliant people, relaxing at the edge of the Atlantic and listening to the breeze play on the palms.  I had almost put Crow out of my mind when, as I reached onto the pool deck to lift myself up, my hand touched hers.

It was the first time I had ever touched her, despite our days in the Art Gallery.  My hand went numb with fire and magic, and it sent the rest of my body reeling.  My mind was blank, stupefied.  My heart relived lightning strike after lightning strike as I turned to look at her, warm and smiling.  "Sorry" I mumbled.  And she said something back.  It didn't register.  I had to go, I had to get out of there.  I was going to be caught in orbit around this Sun Goddess and I didn't even believe in such a thing.  I smiled and slipped back into the water, went under and held my breath, hoping to resurface in a sterile and logical world.  It didn't happen.

I resurfaced and she was there smiling.  We laughed, I am not sure what we laughed at exactly, but we laughed.  And with each laugh, my heart opened wider and she shone into the deepest, darkest parts of it.  The confusing blur had become a furious and inspiring, healing blur.  She SAW me and she enjoyed me.  We spent the night talking, and the next morning, and I saw her off with the promise that we would be in touch.
We were married 3 months later

We were married by a Cherokee-Fillipino priestess in a waterfall in Meig's Creek, near Townsend, TN, where I had been stationed with the NPS.  That was thirteen years ago.  It would take years of posts to begin to describe what Crow has brought to my life.  But what she shares here is part of the beauty that flows from her naturally.  

Her blog is the story of her dream, her succesful magic spells, her book of shadows.  Our farmhouse was secured with a handful of cash and no concept of how to pay for it, as we had left the savannah of Florida to return to my mountain home.  She struggled with the change in elevation, change in culture, change in climate, until one morning she woke up and said - Isnt this what we wanted?  Isnt this what we dreamed of, standing together in that stream in the Smokies?  And the next day we visited our farmhouse, and secured it, and after nearly a year, moved in.  How we got to here from there is inexplicable, and less of a story than it is a series of inexplicable events.

Crow does so much, but she is not a doer.  She reads so much, but she is not a reader.  She loves so much, but she is so much more than a lover.  She fears things, now and again, but calling her brave is selling her short.  She is a Believer.  No matter who you are, or where you are from, no matter how foreign the concept, she will Believe in your vision.  If you tell her your dreams, she will feed the part of you that knows how to get there.  She is a Creator of unimaginable capacity.  She is a willful and strong Woman, with a firm grasp of the World and the freedom to release it as she wishes.  She is a playful girl with an eye for the pattern of imagination and spontaneity.  She is a nurturing mother with a clear view of the freedom she wishes for the Children of the world.  She is an old Soul, one whom has been at my side since before my memory, my best friend and an ally in the spirit world.  She is an ambassador for the misunderstood dark side, she is an ambassador for the self righteous, pious, and shut-off bright side.  She is a witch without prejudice, she is a healer without fee, she is a natural mystic.  She is the part of God that so many overlook.  Behold, friends.  Behold, and rejoice.  Because God loves us all.

Original Watercolor for Crow


  1. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! It's so nice to meet you Rusty [and I hope your neck is better today]
    Thank you for sharing Crow with us and for sharing your love story. I'm a better person for knowing her and now for knowing you :-) I can't wait to read more guest posts [and see pictures of the new bunnies]

  2. You're a lucky guy Mr Crow. If only all such marriages were thus.

    From the other (misspelt) Cro.

  3. Poor Rusty.

    I signed him in and gave him free rein to write whatever he wanted. He is a fantastic writer, storyteller, and teacher. Oh and a genius. He has qualified for Mensa Int. because of his way high IQ. Anyway... he is a much better writer than I am. I am great at letting it fly, but sometimes my brain goes quicker than I can get it out and I don't like to work when I write. So editing is out. I just write. Organically and imperfectly, but that is why I write. To get better at it.

    So, poor Rusty.

    He told me he was done writing his entry. The first thing I see is the first picture. I said "OH MY GOD I HATE THAT PICTURE!" It was taken at a funeral, early morning after we had stayed up until about 3:00am writing a Eulogy. Puffy face, bad lighting, at a funeral. I disliked it. Rusty looks great. So I got over myself and read the blog...

    and tears came...

    So I read it again, and more tears fell.

    Ok, the picture will stay. Imagine him getting done writing about how loving I am and the first thing I do is say I HATE that picture!

    Note to self: Work on that.

    Also, Living with Crow, (the dark side) sequel should be written. ;-)

    Thanks for all that you do. Without you there would be no Woman Living Wild and Wonderfully in WV. At least not this one.

    You Rusty, are the Magi. I am your sidekick.

  4. Beautiful!!! I cant say no more other than I need a Kleenex. xxx Nicky

  5. I KNOW, you BOTH know, how Lucky you are !! which makes your posts even BETTER !!! I wish you were my neighbors !!!! I tell Crow that all the time. lol... My ducks have brought me together with some really awesome peeps <3

  6. a handsome couple to be sure!
    sweet as a nut!

  7. I hope he doesnt mind me saying but he IS a bit of a looker!!!

  8. She rarely likes any photos of herself. I, on the other hand, like them all. It is nice to meet all of you, as well. Yes, Cro, I am lucky and I know it. Nicky thanks :-) Kris yes I think we both know we are lucky. And thank you John, I don't mind. And now back to Crow...

  9. K. is, without a doubt, one of the nicest, most genuine and warm hearted people I have met through my recent blogging adventure. A very special lady.

    And you Rusty, hiding usually, on the outskirts of this blog, sometimes glimpsed in Crow's photos and very often spoken of in her writings, you're quite a guy too!

    You should write more Rusty.

    (Especailly for John - honestly John, any excuse!! ;-) LOL)

  10. I have read and re-read this post. I just love it! I would love to see that first meeting from Crow's perspective some time [hint hint] :-)


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