Dear M Mc,
They’ve spoken to us time and time again: “God reveals himself to us in the interruptions.”
It was one of those rare balmy spring evenings in Sedona when Crazy Brazy got your call for help. He looked over to me with faith in his eyes, and we both knew that soon we’d be driving through the night, down the desert, to your home in Scottsdale. So we shifted our lives in the stride of joy, singing all our eye-rollin’ blues classics, embracing whatever this adventure would teach us. Nothing was on our mind except the determination to love and help you.
As we drove out of Sedona and passed through the Verde Valley on our way southward, a bright-eyed Venus aligned with the sliver silver Moon above Mingus Mountain, forming a line along the horizon which pointed directly at the town of Jerome, which glowed dimly red-orange on the distant landscape, like a dying coal clinging to the slope of the foothills. (Only the one who blooms n grooves could know the good omen inherent in this.)
And suddenly there we were. Crazy Brazy and I, arriving at your house well past midnight to bring HOMEopathy in whatever way we could. We would do anything for you Michael McCarthy, that’s really how we felt.
Your home. Just one of tens of thousands of affluent look-alikes built up in a manufactured suburban sprawl, a world of bright green golf lawns placed on top of hot shifting sands, soulless opulence redeemed only by the orange trees bearing sweet fruit in season. And what about the children living inside some of those homes, the countless bright-eyed innocents forced to drink conditioned air, still unaware of uniquely gentrified socio-economic phenomena and the cultural-spiritual death it brings. I couldn’t help but think, You couldn’t pay me $10 million dollars to live in a place like this.
But thanks be to you and God, for inside your home there hung your paintings, each one transporting us beyond the walls of suburban security complexes toward sacred places of natural wonder. Whenever the tasks of cleaning fecal matter and rearranging furniture and massaging joints and explaining the processes and procedures of home-based hospice care started to feel tremendously burdensome, just one meditative glimpse at your glorious paintings would transmute our egos into droplets of water, falling across the mountain cliffs to join the river and the crystalline pools of our planetary water system, until our identity slipped away and we were again servants of the All Is One. Illumination!
We cleaned, we cooked, we cleaned some more, and often times I cleaned the parts of you I never wished to see. Rearranging your living situation to make it liveable for a huge man threatened with immobility. Calling the Angels to come and assist. And behold, they came!
And then there was the beautiful old baby grand piano, which stood regally in the corner of your high-ceiling living room like a brown Three-Legged Cat in hibernation, its soundbox and strings weighed down by a portfolio of your drawings. Phew! Blow off the dust. Open the flap. Reveal the ivories. And soon I became the One-Eyed Drummer and found her rhythm, my ten fingers dancing, the sounds putting you to sleep and bringing back your Memory of the good life.
Thank you for calling for help, dear Michael. And thank you, dear Roberto Brazy, for inviting me on this journey. I am a new man because of this experience. May the music lift you up, and may you rise into greater realizations of your self in God, in the same way that your wondrous paintings bring us closer to the precipice of our truth.
Your brother, Joel
p.s. I improvised (and recorded) this song on your piano, during those three days when Roberto and I stayed at your home in the month of February in the year of Two Thousand and One Score A.D.