It seems a cheat to use someone else's words to explain where I am, but as I contemplated my first post back these are the songs that immediately came to mind.
Find the River by R.E.M.
"I have got to leave to find my way
Watch the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes
Nothing is going my way"
In the Sun by Joseph Arthur
"If I find my own way
How much will I find?"
But enough of my mid-life crisis (hey, don't laugh, I intend to live to 102, so this technically counts as mid-life!). On with the topic of the day. The American Idol concert in Dallas.
Being gone during the most important concert in Casey James' life -- after championing him for the past three-plus months -- was surreal. It was like sitting through Act 1 of Dream Girls only to get up during "And I am Telling You." Walking out before Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Turning off the radio before Adam Lambert's screams. You get the point. You're kind of missing the big payoff.
There would not have been much I could have added to the pictures and videos that have come from those lucky enough to be in attendance. His family, friends and fans witnessed probably the greatest moment in his professional life -- being back home, on stage, doing what he loves for the people he loves. This moment more than met expectations for all involved. I'm sure many faces still ache from smiling too big and others have stuffy noses from crying too much. Maybe a little of both.
As triumphant as his return home was during American Idol, those of us skilled in reading the writing on walls sensed it was bittersweet as we knew Casey was going that far, but no farther. But this time, the hometown boy was coming back to declare I have made it and to thank all those who supported him along the way. With rumors of his record deal swirling in the hot Texas air, this was an unbridled victory celebration. Local boy makes more than good -- he shatters the competition and takes his rightful place in the sun. He left some eight months before to show the world what he could do and he returned with his trusty six-strings, riding high, having accomplished far more than he could have hoped. He's a bona fide star, ready to conquer the world.
Here's some video of Casey meeting fans in Dallas:
Here's an interview Casey (and Tim) did with the hometown media:
It was touching, and telling, to see Casey talk about the change in his life over this past year -- from playing his heart out in front of two or three people, to playing to hordes or screaming fans. And they say dreams don't come true.