I know that Malcolm was a member of a band for a period of his life because he told me once not to worry about people not liking me as a performer.
Did anyone throw rocks at you? he asked me.
No, I responded.
Then you’re fine, he said.
Rocks? Seriously? I asked.
And there was a story to go along with it.
But today’s story is about what we do in spite of sticks and stones and potential rock throwing.
It is the story of what we do when we decide to jump in rather than test the water with a single toe.
This morning, Malcolm packed a car, left his home and beloved one and many friends and familiar faces to head into the unknown. So far as I know (because I am not Malcolm and can only derive meaning from what I sense because I know him fairly well), he did it for love of music and a deep desire to bring beauty and empathy into the world.
Have you ever felt called to do something? I don’t necessarily mean like a prophet or a missionary. I just mean that you felt full and whole at the thought of doing something you love.
I have felt it, and I am somewhat ashamed to say that even having felt like fullness of spirit and soul, I still find ways to avoid doing what fills me the most…namely, creating music.
I find it somewhat ironic that I wrote an entire dissertation about the arduous, stormy path I followed to make this passion real and yet it is so easy to leave my ukulele in their case day after day. There is always something more urgent calling for my attention.
Well, in their case they will not stay because Malcolm is on his way.
This morning is sent a message to a cell phone in Rockport, Maine. It read:
Good morning! How are things? How is your heart?
Moments later, I received a response:
I not have a car. I am preparing to pack up the bass. Heart is somewhere in there, I am forgetting to feel it, because I am focused on getting on the road.
And later a photo.
The body of the bass is sitting on the cases of two guitars. In front of the backseats lies the neck of the base in the duffel bag. Good thing the bass comes apart. Visibility out the back window is 100%.
I have requested a photo for day I, and I received three, each with a description.
Discovered an enormous lake up at the northern Vermont New York Canadian border.
I was feeling resourceful, so I built a ferryboat to take me and my fellow auto travelers cross the body of water.
Bravo! You are like Moses.
many years ago, I asked Malcolm if it was ok for us to spend this time together. I worried that his wife might wonder.
I have known Barbara for a long time, he told me.
And he shared a series of short but the to the point phrases for me to tell my own partner so he would no there was no cause for concern. It is a favorite memory of mine.
In the words of Malcolm, which I was directed to share in a convincing tone (so I chose my own attempt as a male, Bronx accent).
Rich. I get it. She’s your girl.
I know that Harry told Sally that it was not possible for a man and woman to be friends, but I can tell you that the only way this could not be true would be if those friends were family.
Carry on, dear friend who is family. The west awaits!