Flying into Utah holds with it such expectation for me. The mountains are glorious and the anticipation intense. I can echo the first lines of Chords of Strength: “I have no idea why I am doing this, but I know I need to do this for some reason.”
“Who travels all this way to have a book signed and a song sung?” I keep asking myself. But for all my second-guessing about taking this trip, I come to the conclusion (again) that any David Archuleta trip becomes worth it as soon as he opens his mouth to sing.
In Salt Lake City, he begins to do just that before we even have a chance to digest the fact that he is standing there. He bounds onto the stage, waves a quick hello, then launches into Crush with a backing track. His voice is rich and true, hitting me with just how good this song really is … a bonified hit.
In my mind I am screaming “Yay!!! David!” taking in this song I have heard so many times, and feeling so proud of what this man has accomplished in two short years.
David scans the crowd very intently, giving eye contact to all, seemingly looking for familiar faces. Not everyone watching are fans. Some in attendance are mere bystanders, people who had been sightseeing in Temple Square or on a lunch break from work and stopped to listen when they heard that Voice.
Santa Trish0400 comes prepared, however, armed with five of David’s CDs. She gifts a few to curious bystanders who are obviously impressed with David’s talent. He looks so energized, so healthy, in the powder blue striped T-shirt, his black hair a lovely mess. It strikes me how small he seems, small, but strong and powerful. With an inner strength that his audience can sense from the depth of his voice, his striking physical presence and the confidence and joy that come from using his gift as it is intended, for the benefit of all.
Then, his version of GBTBR! More epicness … epic means “heroic; majestic; impressively great:” Yes! This describes David — his voice, his smile, his unassuming gentle nature – as he bestows his gift on us.
After seeing the vids, TOfan described David’s GBTBR as “so delicately beautiful, each time I hear it, I have to stand still. I feel every note like drops of rain on my face. Blessed.” Yes!!! I stand there with my face uplifted and feel exactly that. Each word, and note and nuance, the tone and pitch of his voice captivating my soul. As most long-time David fans know, this is something we all try to explain, but I fail again.
I just know that it is what it is — being within a few feet of him singing is something I treasure, almost guiltily, because I know that so many people do not get this opportunity. My mind goes over it again and again. How did I get to be here?? Why did I get to be here? I have no answers. All I can do, really, is be thankful. He gives a perfect gift every time he sings and I feel honoured to receive it.
We are moved into a line for the signing. The meeting of old friends, the matching up of faces to screen names, the party atmosphere as we wait is a huge part of the fun. The Deseret book store staff have everything well organized, they are very friendly and even sell water and cinnamon buns as we wait! … I begin to feel the nervous excitement … Gah, this is the part that stresses me out. I decide to not rehearse what I will say, just go with the flow, something I am always preaching, but have a bit of difficulty with when the Archuleta is near.
Everything is going smoothly, until I am at the head of the line and realize that I have lost one of my Post-its with the name that David needs to sign. (This is a mass campaign, lol, each of us come with five or six books for various fans who cannot be here!) I get flustered. Find another Post-it and pen, then, there he is…. “Hi David” say I….The rest is lost to me.
For some reason I cannot remember David meetings. My mind fails me EVERY TIME . I swear if patticake04 had not taken this vid I would not believe that I actually was there and somewhat coherent. After our exchange I have the presence of mind to reach out to shake his hand, and in that split second I make myself take it in. With the handshake comes the smile and the twinkle of the Archugaze. Success at last! That moment is now embedded in my memory and no one can take it from me!
Today I listened to the AOL Something Pitchy interview again and was struck by what David had to say about the book signings. He expressed how emotionally draining it can be as he puts so much energy into each meeting, keeping himself in a certain mindset. He explained how he tries to see each person and hear their name and hear what they have to say because this is their first time meeting him. You get a clear picture of how much he cares. And how, like a sponge, he soaks up every new experience — learning so quickly how to do his best at each new turn in the path he is on. He is both a giver and a gift.
We went on to Orem the next day…. And it was all icing on the perfect Utah cupcake.
A few more fun highlights:
Cupcakes in Julee’s kitchen.
An evening ski lift ride at Sundance resort.
Hearing the Mormon Tab Choir perform!!
Doing a face plant in Downtown SLC (I have the scars to prove it),
Running across a soccer field to see David Cook?? (’tis, true, I did this).
Watching as a storm came in over the mountains.
Meeting so many wonderful people I cannot keep track.
All precious moments shared because of a common bond: David and his gift.