Sunday, February 10, 2013

i matter. you matter. we matter. we are stories.

i want to preface this by asking you to actually pay attention to the title.

i matter. you matter. we matter. we are stories. you are a story. tell it. 

rewind to the middle of december when i was scrolling through to write love her arms' website. if you don't know what TWLOHA is, please click HERE.

i clicked on their heavy and light tour button, looking to see where the tour was going to be headed.

i've always been unfortunate with tours. like, when frightened rabbit had their US tour, i couldn't go. it's always in places that are too far out of reach, like chicago. and then it's like, wait, i'm a broke college student, i can't pay for gas and food and tickets.

heavy and light was in detroit, two hours away from my college. tickets were fourteen bucks each.

i bought two without thinking about it.

they were at my house in an envelope within a week. i put them in a special part of my purse and brought them up to school. this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience.

i was going to TWLOHA heavy and light detroit with annalise.

annalise and i!
at three fifteen yesterday, annalise shows up at my room. i'm actually wearing makeup. i've been charging my camera all day. i'm wearing the TWLOHA deon i got online when i was seventeen and i first heard of their movement. annalise borrows a shirt that i bought when jamie tworkowski visited my college my freshman year. we get a quick middle of the afternoon dinner, tell my iphone to take us to detroit, get in my car, and we head off into the glorious michigan countryside heading to d-town.

most of the ride there is taking pictures of scenic snowy michigan, trying to find a decent radio station, and talking about family drama. we have dr. peppers. the music we can find is good. a car passes us with a license plate that says GOT MLK?! and annalise snaps a picture of it. we laugh about the fact that we're RAs and taking pictures so we can "document the situation". there's excitement. we sing "hey there delilah" in a terrible opera.

i haven't been to detroit in years. and annalise and i realize that we've didn't really tell anybody that we were doing this. we just... left for detroit for a night of music, conversation, and hope.

we cruise into detroit. it's all one way streets and large buildings and police cars and i feel completely out of my element. i have to pee. i'm thinking about the head and the heart concert that jacob and i went to and how this feels almost the same; pulling into a new place, a new city, getting ready for a once in a life time experience. we park, put all of our valuables in the trunk of my car, and then we're rushing into st. andrew's hall, showing our tickets and our IDs to prove that we're twenty-one.

the hall is big and open and we get as close to the stage as we can. we're shoved next to some guys that are pushing seven feet tall. my phone is dying from directing us all the way here. i'm tweeting about how we have ten minutes until jamie tworkowski walks into the stage and i can't even stand it because i just love his movement so much, and i'm remembering the time that he hugged me when he came to alma, and i know that this is what i need right now, that this show is going to blow my mind.

the lights go out. and there are words on a screen. words telling me that i am important, that i am a story, that i matter in this world. and that i need to live my story, that my story is unique, is important to me, to other people.

i am invincible and i matter.

jamie tworkowski.
i love this man.
and then jamie tworkowski came out and talked about heavy and light, the TWLOHA movement, and how tonight was a night of hope, stories, words, conversations, and music.

there is god in music.

the next three hours were a blur. the show started with noah and abbie gunderson who were breathtakingly beautiful. i tried to figure out how noah could play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time. then it was a small band called now, now that had two girl lead singers that looked like they were my age. they made me question that i'm doing with my life because when i looked at them, i thought i could do anything.

then anis mojgani came on stage.

he was a spoken word poet and the moment he opened his mouth, it felt like i knew what i wanted to do with my life, i knew what it meant to be loved, i knew everything that i ever needed to know. his words were beautiful and meaningful and my words trying to describe it will never, ever do it justice.

anis mojgani. check it out.

i sang with aaron gillespie and bryce someone from the rocket summer, and then the main show of the evening began after a heartfelt story from a heroin addict named dennis and a powerful message from jamie.


have you heard of jon foreman? probably not.

have you heard of switchfoot?

now you've heard of jon foreman.

jon foreman started his part of the show alone. he unplugged himself from any time of electrical outlet, stepped to the front of the stage, and started to play dare you to move. to the entire theatre sang it with him, all of our voices rising together. i have a video and you can hear me singing in the background, but it's hard to tell that i'm singing because i was crying so hard.

he was joined by his other band the fiction family and they played for a good hour. annalise and i held hands and swayed together, feeling what it was to live through music, to feel like we mattered, to feel like we really were a story.

we are.

too soon, all of it was over. we stood there for a while, not entirely sure what had happened. we had stood for four hours in a theatre surrounded by beautiful people, all their own stories, and we had listened to beautiful moving music and poetry, and all too soon, it was over.

i didn't know what to do. but i did know one thing.


after annalise had her heavy and light pamphlet signed by aaron gillespie, we managed to find our way out of the winding downtown streets of detroit. annalise tells me that she'll buy me dinner, even though it's eleven o'clock at night. i want doughnuts. we get onto the highway to head back to alma. about ten miles in we see a sign for tim hortons.

we scream. veer the car. get off in some detroit suburb that we've never been to before.

and we get doughnuts and coffee at tim hortons at eleven thirty at night.

doughnut. om nom nom.

the mocha that i get is absolutely disgusting. we snarf down two doughnuts each. annalise gives her latte because it actually tastes good. after a half hour of sitting alone in a tim hortons and laughing and talking about the greatness of heavy and light, we head back toward lansing.

annalise and i talk about all kinds of things on the way home. what would we do if we weren't held down by anything? if we could truly do anything we wanted to do? i would be a professional blogger. annalise would direct a music video.

what if we could just buy a plane ticket and go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted? have you ever just wanted to leave?

while we drive back to alma, we are invincible.

i tell annalise that i don't want to go back to alma, i want to keep adventuring. because when else are we going to do this? we're not going to do it tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week. we've just gone to detroit and had this incredibly moving once in a lifetime experience. if we're going to do it, we're going to do it now.

she agrees.

so we blow by the alma exit and keep taking the highway toward lansing.

there was this moment where i panic. we're still cruising down 96 at seventy-five miles an hour, but now i have no idea where we're going because we've passed our exit. we can't just turn around and head back. we've done what we've always talked about; we've taken the exit we've wanted to, we haven't taken the exit we were supposed to.

we are adventuring.

we drive twenty miles to lansing. we get off at an exit to the capitol building, the capitol building of michigan. annalise's phone is barely keeping up with the car, trying to get us directions there. we turn on a one way street and follow it toward the large building, just blindly trying to get there as best we can, and we pull over in front of it, pay the parking meter, and it's one in the morning.

it's one in the moring and annalise and i have driven from detroit and somehow we've wound up at the capitol building of michigan.

capitol. one in the morning.

we bundle up. we run up the capitol building steps. we dance on them. we take pictures. we look to the heavens and shout. we did this, and we are invincible. this is our story. 

when it becomes too hold to hold onto my camera properly and it's nearing one thirty in the morning, we get back in my car and head back to alma. we get on 127 and start heading north, 53 miles to campus. we talk about the fact that we just did this thing, this thing where we purposely missed our exit, wandered around lansing, and danced on the steps of the capitol.

as we near alma, the radio plays we are young by fun.

it has never been more appropriate. we are young. we are setting the world on fire. we are invincible. we matter.

all day today i've thought about ways that i want to convey last night on this blog. i want to tell you everything that i felt, describe each tear that i shed while listening to testimonials, to poetry, to music. every scream that i gave when there was a musician, every shout of happiness, every shout of laughter. every sway of my hips, every clap along to the music, every time that annalise squeezed my hand to let me know that i wasn't alone in this room, that we were all people, that we were all stories.

i cannot do it.

all day today people have been asking me "how my concert in detroit was." i tell them it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

i don't tell them that i wasn't just a concert. i don't tell them that i came alive in st. andrew's hall in detroit, that i had a glimpse of who i am meant to be.

i tell them that it was fun and annalise and i went to lansing at one in the morning on a whim. they tell me it was lucky that we didn't get arrested.

i don't tell them what moved us to do this. i can't explain it. i don't have the words to convey it.

but if you take anything away from me attempting to describe my experience of to write love on her arms' heavy and light detroit, please take this away.

you are a story. and you matter.

now here are some pictures from last night for your enjoyment. :)

jon foreman was a badass.
st. andrew's.
annalise and i ate the capitol. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment