Sunday, 3 June 2012

Gothic in the suburbs - it's a two crow day

Two crows sit on the roof of the apartment block opposite.  Still and black and looming.  Against the grey sky they look like a Gothic omen; a motif used by a film director of a film set in the swamps of Louisiana. Their shadows loom over the other birds who are minding their own business and getting on with their day -  small brown birds swooping and enjoying each other's company.

The crows sit in judgement. The collective noun springs to mind.  (A murder of crows.) Their occasional "FAAAAR, FAAAAR, FAAAaaaaa" cut through the winter air.  The small brown birds stop when they hear it, then go back to the spot they were pecking on the ground.

Impatience does not sit well with the crows and they lazily fly to join the small brown birds.  The cast of the shadow is enough to make the small brown birds fly away.

This went on for a couple of hours this morning.

There is something about a big, black crow that makes me uneasy.  It is probably because of all that Gothic symbolism used in films.  Black crows appearing outside usually mean bad news is coming in a film.  Especially if you see them reflected in a mirror!

When I saw two crows hanging around this morning, I turned all my mirrors to face the wall. It's enough to have one crow hanging around; I wasn't going to take any risks with two.

I tried to take a photo, but every time I would step outside with the camera they would fly away.  Growing up on a farm, my mother always told me that you can't shoot a crow.  She meant that they will not be shot.  I remember asking why.  I think the answer was along the lines of "they know".

Film makers probably came up with the crow as an omen for bad news because writers had used them before there was film.  I hope that writers just dreamt them up and that their power is merely imagined.  The other possibility is awful to imagine - that crows are an omen for bad news in film because they are a warning of bad things to come in life.

I'm going out to chase the crows away so I can watch the next episode of True Blood in peace.  With the grey skies it is positively Gothic over here in Yarraville.

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