I have avoided watching David’s “announcement video” for the longest time since that day we saw it together in real-time on Livestream. He was hurting, or so I thought and I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t watch him being vulnerable in front of so many people. Most of all, it hurt me to see him cry.
How would I live without his shining force for two years?
How could I get through two years with no new music, I thought.
Two years is way too long to go without a concert.
It was all about me.
I know about milestones and rites of passage in one’s religion so I should have seen David’s mission announcement coming instead of hitting me from out of left field.
In my religion, for example, when a young person reaches 13 they are considered to have achieved spiritual maturity and are welcomed into adulthood by having a Bar Mitzvah or for a girl, a Bat Mitzvah. This important event is marked by being called to read from the Torah, which is the fundamental narrative of the Jewish religion. This is usually done in temple before family, friends and a congregation of people and the reading is done in the Hebrew language. In addition, they must learn to chant in the ancient melody. Hebrew is written in symbols, not letters in the printed version of the Bible and is very hard to learn. It often takes months or years to accomplish this at the same time they have their regular school studies. It’s considered an honor to fulfill all of the required duties which I have simplified here. There is also a community service requirement. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is a milestone life-cycle event in the life of a Jewish person and is the culmination of years of study.
Having had a chunk of time to reflect on all this, I realize how selfish it was to think of myself and how David’s leaving would affect me.
Last night I was on YouTube as I usually am, watching old concert footage. Instead of avoiding the mission announcement link, this time I clicked on it! I watched it 3x. I saw it differently this time than I did all those months ago. I didn’t see a hurting David baring his soul. I saw a brave young man who didn’t know how the audience would react to his announcement and when he heard applause, was so touched that it brought tears to his eyes. I saw a brave young man who had the difficult task of telling his fans that he was taking a temporary leave from his music career. It was hard for him but he had the strength to do it anyway. I saw someone who had the courage to be vulnerable and who shed tears of relief.
Video credit David Archuleta
Even in his absence David continues to inspire me. It may have taken me 15 months to have the courage to watch the “announcement video” but seeing his strength is making ME strong enough to wait out the days until he comes back home.