He glides through the town with the greatest of ease, an urban bedouin, a bull dog bedecked in a jesters collar, his faithful companion. His bi-wheel chariot, both abode and transport, a mystical delight, draped in royal purple, pinks, flowers, glitter and anything he might find, that shimmers in the days sun. He is Joseph embodied in his amazing technicolor dreamcoat, worn flamboyantly in warm weather or cold; his velvet multi-colored crown bespeckled in diamonds and tiny bells which jingle in time, as his gnarled hands strum his banjo. Deeply etched lines map his face, betraying his years and a journey I will never know; yet have a deep yearning to comprehend.
He cares for his dog, with the kind of tenderness reserved for our beloveds. On the days the journey is long, the jester is seen riding proudly in the chariot fast asleep, as his master navigates their destiny. On rain soaked days, his four-legged friend is lovingly adorned in rain gear fashioned from plastic bags, secured with colorful ribbon. Each time I see them, I am transfixed in wonderment and on the days our paths don’t cross, I find myself questioning their whereabouts and praying for their safety.
I call him The Magid. Anointed before I knew the true meaning of the word. It came to me the first time I saw them; I thought it meant magician. I recently came to know the actual definition and it took my breath away: “Magid (or Maggid) is a Hebrew word, it is used as a term in Kabbalah describing the Jewish communication with God, whereby an angel or the soul of a saint who died, reveals a living mystical experience, via a dream or a daydream, usually resulting from using magical means.”
Each town and city has them, unconventional spirits whose stories we may never know. Many of us chose to look away, the clashing of values and culture too difficult to abide. The stories I create in my mind about The Magid bear the fruit of a wild-hearted soul, living authentically outside the lines and have offered me the opportunity to question my own. Perhaps someday I will gather the courage to look in his eyes, sit by his side, say thank you and ask, “Will you tell me your story?”