It seems I am a “shape-changer”.
I have lugged three huge lawn bags filled to the brim, out to the trunk of the car: some things just don’t fit they way they used to. Whether this is good news or bad, I will leave up to the imagination.
However, I found myself thinking of this the other day in relation to DA and wondered how things “fit” for him since his return to the states, his career, and his family.
Like coming home to a “found” trunk of clothes, some fit, some don’t, and some old favorites look different. Each missionary coming home (or anyone returning from a two-year-life-changing-experience) finds that things “fit” differently than before. We are not the same shape as we once were. Neither within nor without. Each person takes their own amount of time to reassess, evaluate, and experiment on the “shape” they are in. Which things are the same? Which are different?
And most of all – What did I bring home with me that I especially want to keep?
DA brought back an even greater determination to be of service to his fellow-man. This is very evident in the choices he has made of when and to whom, he has performed. I do not believe that this means he devalues his “regular” fan base. I think it just means he has sharpened his focus.
We know that he has said how he loved being in the mission-field because the focus was not on himself. I can imagine that trying to keep the focus on what he is doing rather than on himself, is one reason he seems more distant to his fans. It is because of his own goals and what he needs to do in order to achieve them, not from anything the fans have done. We are a diverse and sometimes unwieldy bunch, and we love to focus on him. He on the other-hand, would rather not focus on himself, and he has only so much time and energy. I believe that his ability to balance the demands of a public life and a private one will improve with time and maturity. (When your public is your “buyer”, you simply have to connect!) Yet for now, he wants to be more private. I can respect that.
He is working. Goes to school. Writes music. Records. Travels. Spends time with family. Has told us in different ways that he is working with a variety of music. And… Although he has not sung to us (sigh), I do not believe that that means he does not want to.
It is just that for the first time in his life, he gets to try it his way, in his own time frame, without constant input from outside sources. What a challenge he has taken on! What courage it must take to push himself to stand musically in a place previously denied him, and to hear the echo of his own heart.
He will come. What he brings to us all then, will not be perfect. But it will be as perfect as he can make it. And it will come from as true a place as he can discover: it will be with as much of his soul as he can form into sound.
It will be the shape of things to come.
Bluesky is a staff writer for The Voice.