A different reality
Whenever Two or More
There was a "grundle of people", or so my father would have said, `ceptin' he didn't much like milling throngs – and I do. Not that I enjoy the mindless shoving, smelly cloths, raucous laughteror pick-pockets, but there is a magick moment when a throng of friends – strangers becomes something more than what a headcount would offer. A crowd takes on a life and spirit of its own sometimes, and I watch for it – from afar – sitting in a tree or window sill. So I am well disposed to observe this particular gathering of silly folk come to see and hear Visone – you know, the wizard. Personally I wouldn't give a farthing for any expected magick or profound words or trembling predictions. I've seen `emall – Priests, and Princes, and Augers and Shaman. Never yet been disappointed – they all fail to live up to the myths that precede them. Enjoy the spectacle though! And the magick of the people –always that – real power and energy. Too bad there is always someone around to take credit, instead of two strangers meeting and saying, "I see you friend – want to make some magick?"
Now this Visone d-Ambrey might be different. He doesn't claim to be anything. Doesn't promise there will be any mystery or healing or magick at all! Yet these people have come from villages away to be here – for they know that something mystical will be happening – always does apparently. Guess if enough people believe in something it will happen – be created out of whole cloth perhaps. Down below I see a boy with but one leg – came quite a distance I would venture. Now that is magick I guess – and Visone isn't even here! I know others are attending hoping for some miracle too. Must place a lot of burden on a wizard though – wonder what he gets out of it? Maybe he steals magickal stuff from one group and gives it to another. Be all right, I imagine. Certainly if noise be a measure there is a lot of excess energy hereabouts. Oops! Something happening.
I had expected something more spectacular as means of transportation for this "man of our times and wonder!" Just a simple vegetable cart – one swayback horse – one slender girl leading it through the gesturing throng. There he sits – might as well be another turnip on the pile – dark grey woolen cloak, straw hat – sandals. Beside him I think I can make out a plain wooden staff and a leather rucksack. Would have thought him just another weary traveler – except! …
Without a word the crowd opened before the ambling child and closed immediately behind – might have been a flower floating in a pond –aimlessly – effortlessly. Surly the crowd decided the route the cart must follow -- understanding somehow the destination and speed – design or chance? The small parade wound across and about –through and back, and gradually silence replaced the mayhem and confusion. Some common will directed that each person of the hundreds there were close enough to touch the cart at some point –to help guide the wizard to the unknown but providential spot beneath the Hawthorne tree. No one spoke – yet the tall fell back and the small were lifted and all were in position to see Visone stand – nay rise such that all could see and sense and feel – the wizard had come!
I could feel the music too – but it came from the crowd, not he – and the tree branch filtered light danced loudly onthe faces of children – all were children. I was drawn to go down and walk amongst them – absorb their peace and faith, but …– then I saw her. Only a stooped, frail crone, shuffling throughout the crowd –unnoticed – of no importance at all. Yet her movement was a mirror of Vizone – a reverse parody of motion and posture. When he turned left, she drifted right. When the wizard raised his arm, she stooped low. When he moved, she stopped – or perhaps it was the other way around! Which was the puppet – which pulled the strings? Or was there more – or less than I could perceive? Three hundred eyes followed each gesture and sway of the wizard – save mine. Only I saw – beheld the magick! As the enigmatic woman passed every sick or frail child she dropped herbs into their cups or hands. She touched shoulder-drooped travelers and they stood straight. She whispered words into distracted ears and tears changed into smiles.I closed my eyes and attempted to enclose the ripple of energy that washed over and through and because of the gathered dreams and hopes and prayers. I could sense that this tiny lady was but the wand through which power and goodness flowed – yet not from the dynamic wizard so splendid there. What – where?-- then she saw me!-- the girl, I mean.
She was scarcely visible against the trunk of the tree, blending naturally into the shrubs and scattered leaves – and she was watching me – only me. Our eyes met –held --- embraced. Mine were surely wide with surprise. Hers were laughing – ancient – kind. I doubted that the crone could have such entrancing, embracing – all knowing pools of wisdom – golden eyes like a faun. But then …perhaps the shriveled old woman had the eyes of a maiden –learning – yearning! Finally the swirling pulse of kindness, passion and goodwill overcame me – I am lost!
Much later many stories of the day would confirm what I alone had seen. Tales were shared of the words the great Visone had spoken –but I am not sure he uttered a sound. More stories of small miracles – of awe and wonder filled the streets and taverns –everyone knew of someone healed, helped – encouraged by the wizard. Only I knew who the real wizard was – unseen – unknown – profound. Visone is very special, I suppose, to be able to gather and hold their attention that way – to allow their hearts and minds and souls to open – to get their attention – to prompt each person's magick into a flow of creation. But of her, the nameless one – oh I tremble! To be able to gather all that energy and love and direct it to the very essence of each person's needs. To be a beloved of the Gods and their instrument most assuredly – for man alone could not endure this awesome gift – and she – she is withering away – I know – I weep. Oh, that the girl had stayed!
As I looked across the empty meadow where what was is now done and well, I saw a faint trail of new flowers – growing to mark the way of the crone's passing. Deep furrows now betray where the cart had passed afterwards – perhaps burdened with the weight of the sorrows they had taken from the crowd. I followed. Outside the village the two traces joined – no three! The solid tracks of Visone – the flowered shuffling trail of the crone – and the dancing footsteps of the child.
The Staff, the Pouch and the Scroll as foretold.
Then they became one …
or so it seemed in the moonlight.