I suppose it is not entirely unexpected that someone who has chosen to make a place in his heart and life for Hecate should be drawn to the metaphor and myth and imagery and power of the cross-roads. Thoughts of them have been hovering at the back of my mind the last few days.
There are a couple of very different sources or goads or inspirations for this recent obsession, other of course than having been blessed with A.D.D. and occasionally getting stuck on an idea like a bird-dog on a scent.
One came from Dana of the Bells from Crying of a Siren, her quick note which linked to an a couple of articles ( 1st one here and 2nd one here) about a new reporters sociological experiment.
Briefly the reporter had it arranged that Joshua Bell one of the greatest living violinists of our day would be wearing some scruffy clothes, playing some of the greatest pieces of classical music (on a Stadivarius no less!), at the top of the stairs at a busy Washington DC subway terminal and would film whatever the results were… hardly anyone walking by noticed or acknowledged him!
The other, much sadder, goad or inspiration for this post comes from Kerr Cuhulain’s blog.
Briefly, over a dozen people encounter a boy wandering the streets in mixed snow and rain, barefoot and wearing some flannel pajamas asking passersby for help as his parents are fighting. Not. One. Of. Them. Helped. Him!
The police were not able to track him down.
This has me doing some thinking about those moments in life where we have a chance to make a choice, how those choices define us or change us. I believe, as a Witch, that we are responsible for our choices; our actions, our reactions, our responsibility.
I’d like to think the the nearly 20 years I have been a Pagan and Witch that I have learned, that I have grown in maturity and in spirit; that is sort of the idea of Witchcraft… at least as I see it.
I find myself looking at the Sunlit Cross-roads of the Joshua Bell experiment and remembering a time on my student tour of Europe where I was walking up the stairs of the London Metro and found myself listening to a guitarist… the strange and wonderful accoustics of the subway station stairs and eventually comming upon him. An alien experience in a foriegn city to a young, young man from Anchorage, Alaska.
I find myself thinking of a time when I was in my early teens and I was downtown doing some Christmas shopping… it was a snowy day so the temperature wouldn’t have been too cold… somewhere in the 30’s maybe. A panhandler approached me for money, I told him I had none even though I did.
I was young and had been warned by my parents to just say no to panhandlers and to never take my wallet out…
Yet even then I looked back on it even minutes later thinking about the Fast Food restaurant we were near… I could have taken him in and bought him a meal…
Of course I also look at that particular cross-roads with the eyes of someone who has since worked as a convenience store clerk and watched panhandlers get together money from customers and then come in later and by beer or cigarettes with the money… I am somewhat cynical when approached nowadays.
But I could have bought him a burger…
Then there is the brightly lit Midnight sunlit cross-roads of walking home from my job at a big-box book store and being startled by an old woman. She was in a clean bright floral print bathrobe/nightgown type of thing and looked a little confused wandering her neighborhood at an odd hour of the bright Alaskan summer night. (2 or 3 am)
We had startled each other I had been booking it for home walking on my own and she had popped from around the corner from one of the neighborhoods off of C street in downtown Anchorage. Seemingly appearing out of nowhere from behind a light pole.
We laughed about it and I applogized for nearly running into here and in a moment it became clear she was clealy clean and fed and not homeless…but was more than a little disoriented but trying not to show it.
She asked me if the Church across the street was open and I told her I did not know. I asked her if she needed help and she said no. She wandered off across the street and tried the door of the church, it was locked.
She did though. Someone needed to do… well, something… I walked off a little ways so as not to scare her off and I called the police and waited around watching her wander back towards the neighborhood she had suddenly walked around the corner into my life from. I waited and watched discreetely from around the corner as the police came and talked to her and helped her get back into the residential care house she had wandered out from.
I talked briefly to one of the cops before I headed home.
We always have the power of choice. What would you live for? What would you die for? We choose our actions and reactions and we are responsible for them.
If its the easy option or choice, it’s probably not the right one.
Lots of thoughts and memories rambling around m y brain and circling the Cross-roads of my mind.