• how did you find me here?

    by  • June 14, 2008 • Uncategorized • 5 Comments

    I can remember the day in 1989 that I bought the CD.

    I was in Sound Warehouse and picked up How Did You Find Me Here? by David Wilcox the same afternoon I bought Steady On by Shawn Colvin. It was one of my better music buying afternoons. Ginger and I moved to Boston the following summer and both Colvin and Wilcox played outdoor concerts in Copley Square. When we went to see David, I carried a copy of Any Starlight Night, Billy Crockett’s newest CD at the time (on which I co-wrote some of the songs) because I wanted to make a connection. I was early and David was behind the stage working on his guitar. I walked up and thanked him for his record and gave him my offering and went on my way. I don’t think I even told him my name.

    Over the years, we saw him perform several times, most of them outdoors, as I look back now: in the Charlestown Navy Yard, at Harborlights, and one inside gig at the Berklee Performance Center. We bought his CDs and sent copies to friends because we knew the vulnerability and intimacy in his songs would resonate with their situations. Tonight, we found him again. David came to Durham and we went with our new friends Lori and Terry to sit and listen on the lawn of the American Tobacco Campus.

    Ginger and I went early because we were used to Boston days where free concerts meant get there early to get a good seat – or a seat at all. We parked the car and walked past an Airstream trailer hitched to an SUV and there was David Wilcox leaning over his guitar case. Since then, he and Billy have gotten to know each other and David performed at Blue Rock, Billy’s artist ranch and studio. I walked up and said, “You don’t know me but we share a mutual friend in Billy Crockett.”

    “He’s a good man,” David said. Then he asked if we would be willing to help him carry some CDs and DVDs to the stage area. We listened to a marvelous evening of music. After the concert – a good while after the show – he was still standing around talking and we walked up to thank him for the evening. I also got to tell him I thought his song, “Show the Way” should be our national anthem. I also got to tell him how the song has been a touchstone and a life line for me during my depression. Ginger and I stood and talked to him for about ten minutes, I guess. As we got ready to leave, he hugged me and we went on our way.

    I never did tell him my name.

    These past couple of weeks I have struggled against the gathering storm. My depression, it seems, is working hard to suck me in. As usual, Ginger gets hit hardest because the bottom drops out when I get to the end of the day and stop moving. I think it’s harder to live with a depressed person than it is to be the depressed person. Yet, on a night when we were only two of several hundred people sitting on the lawn under the Lucky Strike tower listening to David and two of any number of folks who wanted to talk to him, he found me with his words and music and helped me stave off the darkness, at least for tonight. He doesn’t know who I am, other than the guy who knows Billy and who got choked up when he talked about “Show the Way.” He’ll remember talking to Ginger, I’m sure, long after he’s forgotten talking to me. Still, almost twenty years after that afternoon at Sound Warehouse, it’s my turn to ask, “How did you find me here?”

    And to say thank you.

    Now, please rise for our national anthem.

    You say you see no hope, you say you see no reason
    We should dream that the world would ever change
    You’re saying love is foolish to believe
    ‘Cause there’ll always be some crazy with an Army or a knife
    To wake you from your day dream, put the fear back in your life

    Look, if someone wrote a play just to glorify
    What’s stronger than hate, would they not arrange the stage
    To look as if the hero came too late, he’s almost in defeat
    It’s looking like the Evil side will win, so on the Edge
    Of every seat, from the moment that the whole thing begins
    It is….

    Love that mixed the mortar
    And it’s love who stacked these stones
    And it’s love who made the stage here
    Although it looks like we’re alone
    In this scene set in shadows
    Like the night is here to stay
    There is evil cast around us
    But it’s love that wrote this play…
    For in this darkness love can show the way

    So now the stage is set. You feel your own heart beating
    In your chest. This life’s not over yet.
    So we get up on our feet and do our best. We play against the Fear.
    We play against the reasons not to try
    We’re playing for the tears burning in the happy angel’s eyes
    For its….

    Love that mixed the mortar
    And it’s love who stacked these stones
    And it’s love who made the stage here
    Although it looks like we’re alone
    In this scene set in shadows
    Like the night is here to stay
    There is evil cast around us
    But it’s love that wrote this play…
    For in this darkness love can show the way

    Peace,
    Milton

    P. S. — There’s a new recipe here.

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    5 Responses to how did you find me here?

    1. June 14, 2008 at 11:31 am

      beautiful milton.

      i pray in your darkness that love can truly find it’s way. i’m sorry that the storm is gathering.

      have you ever read parker palmer? let your life speaks has a beautiful essay on his depression. it helped me so much with my own. he speaks about it pushing him to find the ground on which is was safe to stand. i really liked that.

      you’re in my prayers this a.m.

    2. June 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

      Milton, I think one of the best things about being children of God is that we keep getting found–whatever the particularities of our situation, whatever darkness surrounds us, God keeps looking when we’re lost. And shows up in a million different faces of grace.

      Breathe, Brother. You’ve been here before, and you’ll be able to get to the other side of it. You are greatly loved. 🙂

      My wife struggles with depression, too. It’s a cruel disease. I’m praying for you.

      Lovely, lovely song. I’m going to check out David Wilcox further. Do you know Peter Mayer? I think you’d like him: http://www.petermayer.net

      Peace to you, Milton. Thanks for being you. 🙂

    3. Joy
      June 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm

      Milton…I’m praying for you…

    4. June 15, 2008 at 11:27 am

      You have my prayers as well, Milton.

    5. Anonymous
      June 20, 2008 at 3:14 am

      Thanks for the David Wilcox song. I really love the poetry of his lyrics and his amazing voice.
      Hang in there with your depression. Hopefully it will pass soon.

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