They sit on the top of a hill overlooking Bethlehem. The air is thick with frost but they are warmed by the light of a single star. Vonnegut, Hendrix and Van Gogh spin on the prayers that are being answered inside a manger down below.
” . . so there I was, watching this butterfly weave its sacred messages into thin air . . and I just wept for the miracles that happen inside the quiet . .” Vonnegut says.
“You sure have a funny way of talking,” Jimi laughs.
“And you have a funny way of wearing that suit. And old Vincent here has a funny way of painting stars. And what made us this? Believing. That’s what,”
“Yeah, but to believe . . and I mean to really believe is to know you’re gonna lose. And that’s what makes it the most beautiful thing in the world. Because you do it anyway,” Jimi says as a tear runs down his cheek.
“Being born is losing. The minute you’re born into this world, you start losing things. You lose innocence and teeth, friends and lovers and car keys and memories and recipes. But you keep waking up anyway . . .” Vonnegut says.
“And it’s called faith. Like my paintings of farmers, who worked the lands of their mothers and fathers with the intent to make miracles happen,” Van Gogh observes.
“To think, there came a day when we got too smart for our britches. It seems that progress can be a four letter word if you let it run wild on you. And that’s the sticky part of the label, really . . . the idea that we became too smart to believe in the things we could not see,” Vonnegut says.
“Well, I could have told them differently. If my music taught me anything, it was to believe in that which you cannot see . . .” Says Hendrix.
“Because in the doing, this allows you to appreciate the things you can,” Vonnegut finishes, before digging into another memory. “As a young boy, I would sit in church and try to figure out why dressing up in suits and dresses stood for piety. To me, it was the moments nobody was looking at or preaching on that provided me with the proof of His existence. To me, God was speaking inside the shine of that thick varnish. To me, he was smiling inside the perfectly tweaked stained glass windows that allowed the sun to sing a million different songs,”
“And what did he say?” Jimi asks.
“Don’t take life so seriously,” Vonnegut laughs.
“Easy to say, much more difficult to live,” Van Gogh opines.
“Ah yeah Vincent, but it’s in the trying that you find your soul. I never wrote a song that didn’t write me first. The lyrics mothered me and the melody fathered me and I must’ve created a thousand songs just to get to the one that made vinyl,” Jimi says.
The three men contemplate the mysteries tucked inside a well spent moon as the wind sings in harmony with dragonflies and plums. The ground beneath their feet is a finely stitched applique of grass and soil and water, nipping at their heels with the infinite wisdom of the ages.
“So whaddaya say, fellas? Wanna go down there and see what all the fuss is about?” Vonnegut says whilst chewing on the moon with his eyes.
“I would very much like to stay right here and figure out that constellation,” Vincent says. “But it would take me a million years to figure out its math, but for that star . . that bold and valiant thing that floats on top of the heavens . . .”
“It’s calling to you too, huh?” Jimi says.
“Ah yes, the reason for all that heavy lifting God was doing . . once upon a time,” Vonnegut says before turning to his friend. “What about you Jimi? You in?”
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Jimi smiles.