Make a Joyful Noise

Crows make for interesting subjects in art and photography and they also make for meaningful symbols and delightful characters in literature. This is one of my favorite depictions of the magic of crows…

Charles de Lint imagined a pair of crow girls, Zia and Maida, who are mischievous and magical. They are obsessed with shiny objects and can just as easily finish each others sentences as ignore anyone else around them! Most people think they are inseparable because they are so cohesively adjoined but they are individuals. You can read how Charles de Lint sets this dynamic up in the following paragraph…

Everyone thinks we’re sisters, but it’s not as simple as that. If I let my thoughts drift far enough back into the long ago–the long, long ago, before Raven stirred that old pot of his and poured out the stew of the world–we were there. The two of us. Separate, but so much the same that I suppose we could have been sisters. But neither of us remember parents, and don’t you need them to be siblings? So what exactly our relationship is, I don’t know. We’ve never known. We just are. Two little mysteries that remain unchanged while the world changes all around us.

Charles de Lint includes the crow girls in a few different stories he has written and has put out at least one limited edition chapbook, Make a Joyful Noise. It was published by Subterranean Press but is no longer available. There were 574 unsigned numbered copies and 26 signed lettered copies. I was fortunate enough to get copy 401 of the unsigned numbered copies! I do hope for all of you who have not had the chance to read this wonderful story that they will print a second edition.

In the meantime let me share another paragraph from the story,

“Once upon a time, they all lived happily every after. The end. That’s a much better sort of story than the messy ones that make up our lives. At least that’s what I think. But I wouldn’t want to live in that story, because that would be too boring. I’d rather be caught up in the clutter of living, flying high above the streets and houses, making a joyful noise.”

The End.

UPDATED 1/4/2011: Charles de Lint has given me permission to read and record this story and share with all of you. I started a new post for it, here.

UPDATED 1/10/2011: I added a new post about other references to the Crow Girls here.

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