“That poor guy has to please so many people,” exclaims Ellie angrily, “he must be so stressed ..!”
Ellie – one of the sweetest souls anyone could ever meet on this earth, whom I’ve had the immense pleasure and good luck to have in my domestic employ for the past 9 years. She came to me in 2006, long before I knew about the reference of “Archuleta” as a person’s name; I had heard though of the Archuleta Mesa, a plateau in New Mexico, through my constant researches of UFO’s. Haha. But of course the name beholds a completely different meaning to me now.
Ellie had witnessed my fainting exuberance in 2008 while she sat next to me, our eyes fixed on the tv screen, our ears encountering a life-changing experience and our hearts transcending to another realm… She had smiled and shaken her head at me watching me listen to my 1-track-minded music for years… She had sighed with a furrowed brow noticing my moroseness after the 2011 Announcement… She had giggled at my child-like elation as 2014 drew close.
“When it comes to that young man, my boss very emotional!” she often repeats to her friends.
Now and again I would tell her his news. But today she is angry.
“Why do you say that?” I am always fishing for D-convo.
“They his true fans? Why making so many demands and saying don’t like this and don’t like that?”
“I guess that’s what fans do, Ellie.” I smile my secret inward-looking smile.
“He give himself truly, come clean with everyone, like going for Confession (Ellie is Catholic) but they criticise his motives, why he should not do this and why his hair so short and why he wear those clothes and so many other silly things!” When Ellie starts going, there is no way you can stop her from raging and fuming.
“You’re right. They should hail him as Real and True and Genuine, right? Maybe they love him too much.”
“Love too much? They walk away in the name of Love?” Ellie is quizzical.
“Maybe. I don’t know. Love is often selfish. You think of yourself more than you think of the other person.” Yes, I am often filled with half-baked philosophies.
“If I am him, I chabut already…! No need to have so much stress in life!” Ellie likes to jump into some words in Malay now and again for effect, the local language which she has picked up through the years, even though she is of Japanese and Filipino descent. She means she would have run away.
“But, ma’am, why he change so much?” she continues. “No good to be famous?”
Ellie is somewhat wise. “No need to have so much stress in life.”
She is also naive. “No good to be famous?”
I have often marvelled at David’s seeming simplicity in the kind of life he advocates for himself and yet he is faced with a reality which contradicts. He wants to just Sing. To just serve his church. To just be good to people. Yet. Within the relatively short span of the past 8 years or so, his decisions and choices have invited unending conflicts, differing opinions and much controversy; not on a massive universal scale of course, but enough to disrupt the lives and disturb the equilibrium of many, all of which have culminated to tensions and stress in his young life. While I sympathise with this en masse disappointment with his latest declarations (afterall, am I not included in this mental and emotional anguish?), I empathise with David more. Much more.
The world is perpetually changing. People too. Me. And you. And everyone else. Why not him?
Something did happen. Between 2012 – 2014 in a remote part of the world. Something struck him. Like a revelation. Where we were not around to unselflessly hold him back. But where the godly presence of idealism of attaining perfection in one’s life’s activities and purposefulness is strong and profound.
Other than pressure from fans, may I take a moment or two to tread on eggshells – no malice intended – and opine that perhaps his very close affiliations with his church also create certain layers of stress for him. His acts of devotion to his faith for the past years have naturally endeared him to his church seniors, earning a reputation for emulation-worthiness for its younger members. Surely they would have adopted an attitude, or even taken steps, that could be construed as manipulation, how ever slight, to keep his name in tow. And David himself, to put it mildly, might have felt the need to fit appropriately into this whole big plan. Does this sort of adjustment not create some stress as well? And I have not even mentioned the age-old indoctrinations of that establishment.
Then of course, there is the music. The music that he lives for but which he needs time to create. To struggle till the wee hours and plod on for days and months to probably just get 1 single note or lyric right. I suspect happily that this is the only kind of “stress” he genuinely wants to be subjected to in his life. He would feel it as an adrenaline flow. A good stress.
If there is anything I wish for him for the coming year and for many years to come, it is this:
That he is able to spend time away from all the demands – direct or indirect – made on him by the various quarters, all of which wanting to have a piece of him. That he could just delve into his music and excavate with freedom and great abandon.
In true David-style of calmness and quietude in handling stresses,
he has gone to Nashville to write and create music.
Enjoy yourself, David! 🙂
And David tweets:
“Hanging with the talented @stephaniemabey who wrote #Glorious.
Getting together to collaborate some more.”
PS: Strangely enough, the day after I drafted this post, David sends this tweet:
“I deleted my instagram and twitter from my phone for a week
to see how much more productive I would be.
The results work wonders!”
Ellie was right. Me too.
I applaud him for his continual determination to get things right and to stay with the more important things which, at the moment, if you ask me, is creating more music. 😉