Sometimes I find myself dreamily swaying back and forth, occupying a snatch of time that feels special, different. I look to my right and see smiles, to my left, hear laughter, and know that God has given this moment for us to enjoy. And in His grace and love, he gives it freely to all–even to those who will not credit Him with the gift.
Two weeks ago I got to see Brandi Carlile perform at a local venue here in Grand Rapids. My concert buddy and I had been introduced to her months before as the opening act for The Indigo Girls. It was a gorgeous summer evening in a semi-outdoor concert hall nestled at the heart of an age-old forest. The lake adjacent to us glittered back the drooping late-day sunshine and lapped softly against the beach that remained hidden from view. [What could be more lovely?] My, oh my. I fell in love with Interlochen, and I fell in love with Brandi.
I’m a sucker for girls or guys who can pick up a guitar and possess it in such a way that it nearly becomes an extension of their bodies–an extremity allowing them to open their souls with poetry and tempo and meter. If those girls or guys can write songs that wield power enough to hush a crowd or rouse them to frenzy, I’m gone. My heart and spirit connect to music the way that others connect with paint or cooking or building streetrods.
Watching this variety of soul expression in Interlochen and again in Grand Rapids this January leaves me slack-jawed with equal parts envy and admiration. Some day when I can afford one-on-one guitar lessons [preferably with John Mayer] at my beach house [preferably in Southern California], I’ll work my fingers bloody to achieve even the repetitive and elementary notes of Jingle Bells or Happy Birthday. But until then, I wipe the drool from my mouth and sway dreamily in the presence of music and musicians like Brandi.
If you’re looking to update your iPod and you enjoy folk/rock, check out Brandi’s album The Story, or her new album with a new Elton John collaboration: Give Up The Ghost.
Ready your handkerchief for drool–and don’t say I didn’t warn you.