The New Scorpio Moon

Tales of a Wandering Mage
By Jessie Starr
 
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!”
 
“Oh really?” I asked.
 
“Yep, I’m 59 today!”
 
“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.
I see these cast off seniors, adrift and steeped in tarp-layered, barricaded, not-so-American dreams as a sign of the illness we no longer can ignore. So as I warmed her a huge plate of pasta and brewed us both some coffee, I wept silently behind the cover of a little kitchen tucked away as the ballads of Stevie and Carly were berthed for the first time in my living room by a woman who hushed herself so as not to disturb. Oh what a gift God had given me on this Scorpio New Moon.
 
She humbly plucked, struck and thumbed tune after tune, lost in notes of so many great songs, her whisky soaked, bluesy and throaty voice so rich, so deep, encouraging me to practice finding a harmony. She patiently played solid and strong as I struggled to learn along, and she listened and genuinely praised as I more surely shared my own creations, honed and toned and set for deep healing.
 
Never had I been more honored by any audience than when I couldn’t hear my songs over her deeply satisfied burps as she gobbled down a delicious, hot and rich, impromptu birthday dinner. She compared my styles to icons from old times and got super excited while I belted out more familiar titles, I played some of her own favorite greats of Tracy, the Beatles, Jewel and Floyd and hastily she finished her last few bits, returning the classical guitar to her wizened hands.
 
She join me in another original of mine, Conversations With God, harmonizing and orchestrating my simple tones, evoking deeper meaning from the simple words and phrases of my only composed lullaby.
 
As the night stretched to morning and yawns shifted from shifting, to the pretenses of sleeping, she took her cue and beckoned me to come get her anytime I wanted to practice harmony and rhythm, playing and singing along. I promised, not telling her come much later this same day, maybe just after mid-morning, I plan to call her to play once again, because never have I felt a more glorious moment than witnessing a human being embodying the gift they came to bring.
 
Oh thanking great God in the heart of us all, for whispering those truest of true words to me, this was the best birthday gift you could give to me, “Pause, take a breath that’s deep and true.” Oh yes I learned long ago not to question or to argue when those whispery words of guidance come through.

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