… in Baltimore, after street theater by Media Mobilizing Project at the inner harbor, I followed the march to City Hall, led by a band with a New Orleans sound, shedding bits of costume and streamers along the way. At some point I picked up some ribbons and feathers, and tied them to the tree branch walking stick I was carrying.
It was magic.
In the days and weeks that followed, I began to add to the stick, things I found on the street: ribbons, strings, can tabs…
It changed my life.
I lost that one, my Shaman Stick… and almost every year since, would lose another one. Reading on the bus or El, lost in my thoughts. Each time–back to Morris Park to find another branch. Dress it in what I would find, or people would give me to hang on it.
This is the one I carry now. The sixth or seventh one… I lose count. I mended it when it broke.. like my own broken leg. Screwed metal strips to hold he break. Wrapped strips of canvas, soaked in Modpodge, around the wound. Like a permanent cast (the orange band in the middle).
At some point, as I add Found Things to each new stick, the magic of the first one–the Shaman Stick–finds it’s way to the new one. I don’t usually take it with me to demonstrations… Cops. But I did today… and on the way home, remembered… that it’s been ten years. May Day.
Magic is real.