On the Agenda

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My heart will go back to these mountains...

Last night I had the good fortune to see David Lamotte perform on my campus. I'm graduating
in three weeks, and he's retiring in seven months, so it was a bit of a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. And it was fantastic, as it always is. The difference was that this show I cried during almost every song, beginning with "Shadows" and ending with a late-night "Song for You."

The first time I ever heard of David Lamotte I was in the living room of Sylvan Heights lodge in Montreat. I don't remember if I was on one of the ancient couches or sitting on the floor that still is slanted enough that spilled drinks run to one of the walls, but I know it was 1998 and I was on my first-ever youth retreat. The song was "New Lullaby," and although it was probably eight years before I heard the story behind the song, it was immediately obvious to me that there was a giddy joy hanging from the line, "If the Lord should come see me before I awake, we'll run up to heaven and eat chocolate cake."

I saw David perform for the first time less than a year later in a church in Charlotte, and I think it was quite a long time after that before I saw him again. You can't not love David Lamotte, and about three summers ago I went to four or five shows in a span of two weeks. Over the years I have accumulated CDs, a DVD and a fantastic T-shirt, but it's been more than that. Listening to his stories and attending a "World Changing 101" seminar, he has touched something real. Real enough to bring tears to my eyes multiple times in one evening, just by sending out songs from a "real idealist," as he calls himself on his blog.

This label makes sense to me. Not only is he actually changing the world through his PEG projects and his shows, but he is also very real. I've met the people he talks about in his stories, and I've spent endless evenings at the Velvet Moose where he lived for a summer. I've seen David at the Morning Glory Cafe on a Sunday morning and I've grinned so big when he greeted one of my best friends as "Hey beautiful" at Lake Tomahawk park.

David's retiring in November to study peacemaking in Australia, and I couldn't be happier for him and his wife. It seems to be the right next step, but I would be lying if I said I won't be mourning a bit for the hole he'll be leaving on all those stages. Although it won't be an empty hole; it will be filled with the memories of people like me and with all those rich, guitar-spanking chords he sent out to wash over the people he loves.

I hope I won't have to leave these mountains for at least a couple more years, but when my heart does go back there, as it certainly will, they will remember David. Thanks David, for all of it.

First Note: I decided during the show last night that "Song of Peace" will have to play a part in my wedding.

Second Note: David had a lot of fun with his layering machine last night, and I found this YouTube video of another time he had similar fun. Enjoy.

1 musings:

Tamah said...

Well said.