Red Fox // by Regan Halas

i am a red fox horizontal under wet leaves i am a red fox white feathers in my teeth
it was her time it was her time waiting …. looking up at the sky
i come from beneath i come from beneath to take her home
she forgot she forgot silver fingers and a corset
i bring the mud and the blood from her throat was an easy way to go
she remembered then she remembered then she remembered then
how far she flew where those white feathers now?
I am a red fox I am–
here’s a red coat here’s a red coat here’s a red coat
I am– I am– where those white feathers now?

Audio Link –

Reflective Essay by Regan Halas

As the March sun begins to set each evening, I go for a run on the local golf course near my Providence home. And each evening, a red fox arrows across my path. My heart erupts when I see her, feline/canine in this little island of wild. She is messenger; untamed, silent, horizontal, tail extended, moving across the landscape like an arrow.

Songs are a bridge to the subtle world, the phenomenal world, the non-human world. And the cells of the body have ears. They have voices too. The vibration of voice, the thrum and drone of an instrument; sensuality awakens and embeds thinking in prickles of earthen flesh. This is healing in a very simple, straightforward sense–a conversation between the said and the unsaid, the articulated and the non-articulable.

This song was born of an excavation: into self-divorce and the subsequent mending. The exiled impels me to inflict harms upon myself or to fling evidence like weapons. Wishing to avoid these neurotic cesspools, I request assistance. I ask for a form of insight that my thinking mind cannot not dismiss. I build momentum that will bowl through censorship.

Sound is a pathway through emotional landscapes; images emerge and in turn, words arise from the images. I engage these images in conversation. I am a lens; I am a white-feathered bird. I am a Red Fox. Every evening as dusk crawls in, she darts across my path like an arrow. I follow her until she fades beneath curtains of falling dark, the skirts of trees. She leads me down into the loam, waking me from the poisoned sleep of Briar Rose, thawing the dutiful Handless Maiden, (these who in a polarized miasma have silenced or sold themselves out of necessity, desperation, or ignorance, forgetting the power of the imagined and unseen).

Red Fox is the story of the underground spirit who brings death. It describes a resurrection; the reclamation of the non-ordinary soul, roots sunk in mud and blood. Like the Selkie or Swan Maiden, (women stolen out of their elements, their power in the form of pelt or feathers hijacked by rational mind, which then keeps them captive) I had lost my coat. I paraded feathers. I ducked low hoping no-one would recognize an imposter. When I forget my animal body, I forget myself.

I believe that if we feel, acknowledge and accept our experience, compassion grows in us like a healthy vine. We are penetrated by and nourished by it. We will know the other as our self. To feel deeply, to be vulnerable and to provide space within ourselves for all of the ravenous, frightened, wrathful beasts as well as the beauties and the lovers is revolutionary. When we learn how to watch, how to wait, how to listen; wounds heal. This is the soul-retrieval of poetry, the art of song; to reconcile the schisms, to recognize their essence, their presence, their gift. The fox represents alignment, a horizontal plane. She waits at the crossroads, bisecting the vertical, an elixir to the parades of rationality that suffocate dreams.

My musicianship is slow and incremental; I plunk around on the keys or strings until I land on a motif that catches my attention, then I improvise, capturing it with a recorder. There is a simpler version of this piece, but collaboration is often an important ingredient in my process. Eric Davis, (producer/arrangement) has added layer and instrumental depth to my rudimentary piano work and vocals. We exchanged tracks over the threads of the internet, Providence to Nashville.

I offer this song as a story, in the hope that it will open a landscape in the mind, revealing secrets or perhaps simply confirming that they exist, ready to unfold in the fullness of some moonlight.

Regan Halas is an inside-out kind of girl. She thrives at the crossroads of contemplative practice, poetics and composition. She approaches expression from an interdisciplinary perspective, crafting songs and spacial-textural work she calls ‘Cartographies’ . She is inspired by esoteric teachings, mysticism and collaborations between humans and non-human beings. Regan designs and facilitates workshops that investigate embodied inquiry, experimental approaches to language and cultivating relationship with imagination and the OtherWorld. She is a shameless lover of high-fantasy, cats and structured improvisation. Regan lives in Hadley, MA.

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