Tales of a Wandering Mage
I was driving home late at night, under the cover of the new Scorpio Moon, when a whisper said as I came around the corner to home, “Pause, take a breath that’s deep and true.” I learned long
ago not to question or to argue.
As I slowly pulled to the red octagon sign, I turned to see the familiar posture stretching outside her tent in the same pal moonless night. She is a parallel not-my-mother of me, 11 years
younger than my own mother, and her hair still full of our long ago lost color, yet her name only differs by one little simple letter from my mother’s own unusual Hebrew form.
Her past, her depth, her creative passion all reminding, every time we connect, and always by chance of timing and alignments, of my own dearly beloved mother, had she fallen instead of risen
from life beating her Up ways, sideways and back down again. In her face I saw a women my mother might have been had she not had the children she’d had to save herself for.
So tonight, when I drove up at near midnight to the corner on my way home, and I heard the voice and saw the form I knew now so well, I rolled my down my window. “Hello beautiful!” I called to
her already approaching form.
“Hello! Guess what?” She asked and answered right away with uncontainable excitement, “Today is my birthday!”
“Are you hungry?” I asked, “Would you like to come over with me for a bit?” I’d not yet invited her into my home before.
Her face lit up impossibly brighter than it already was, “Uh can I...”
I could feel she was worried of causing me any worry, so I said, “Go ahead and take care of what you are doing, I’ll wait.”
She hurried off, her knees clearly locked from arthritis started in her long ago military medic service, made arthritic by her years of hard living, written in every crag in her wizened
expression. I thanked the voice once again for bringing me to humbly bear witness to God embodied in the face of the humblest and purest of humans.
Tonight may have been a gift to her, but the true gift was yet to unfold for me. She had mentioned once before, in another of these impromptu meetings, that she loved to sing and play guitar,
but truly I had no idea what I was in for.
She hopped in the car for the super short ride and unfolded another layer of her street life story. She told how she learned to stop herself form the not-service once performed as a street
medic; with her wits still flowing in full form, she couldn’t ignore the unmet needs she saw around her in a forgotten population, tapped and ignored, and that’s where she learned that help sometimes
isn’t really help at all.
She told how she tried when the numbers were more fair and the users more of hops and herbs, but now the tides had turned to a community lost in the liquidization of an unfriendly, faux dirty
dragons, chasing them into a not-so-restful, dreamless sleep, they were simply too lost and too unscrupulous to be served.
She had thought my home much further away from her own, and when I pulled in just across the street, she chuckled and said, “ Ooh, I pegged you wrong!” As we came up my walk I showed her my tall
tomatoes and she described the ones she’d assumed I’d been referring to; I love how my home is so safe and secure, so tuck and unknown, even in the heart of the hardest part of town.
She gaped when she walked in, and took a moment or two to settle in, then she chose my black beauty classic with beefy strings, abalones inlay and a voice like a dream and began finger warming
trills. In seconds she was lost in getting reacquainted, her fingers hard, cold, weathered, and knob-knuckled but the swift and quick, sureness showing the years of muscle memory revealed her true
nature, a clearly passionate and deeply gifted musician.
Frankly, I see far too many of these in this condition: arthritic, economically beaten, trauma already exacting the cost of living long before their feet even hit the floor. We look at their
acts and scoff and score the societal cost of the escapism of those yoked to the hard road, contracted and victimized by the life dealt with such an unfair score. This defeat, in one way or another,
is bred into every man and every woman and every single, precious child.
Like cattle we are beefed up and branded, poked into compliance, and charged for basic inhabitance of what rightfully can not truly be owned, for sovereignty isn’t something that’s given, it comes
implicit in the human condition. Yet still, in the moments between defiant acts meant to set you free, we still we acquiesce￼, and comply, it’s in moments when time passes and we surrender not to the
gods in the skies but the enslavers in our palms or those perched tenderly on our thighs while our babes lay forgotten, just along for the ride, strollers, bottled, binkied and served too often their
own new godly device of their own to keep them from crying to the mind numbed mama who does not want to be disturbed.