This is a strange time in the larger world of ArchuLand. More than one beloved member of the extended fan community has stepped away, and other fans have started new sites. Some people are simply tired and lurk rather than post. Old alliances have cracked and circles of friends have expanded or shrunk. For some, it is simply a matter of real life demanding their attention. Others have gained confidence from months of commenting and simply want to spread their wings and try something on their own. Everywhere you look, there is change. So the question remains for me and maybe for others: why are we still here? Why are we still devoted David fans?
For some of us, this has been a two-year passionate journey. For me, it’s been an intense one and a half years of commenting and writing and blogging. But for each of us, we had a moment of falling in love – of falling into a place of peace and beauty that washed away (for a moment) the troubles of an imperfect world. It was the voice and person of David Archuleta that took us to that place, and it is no surprise that we want to visit again and again. Since we can’t hear David sing for us in person every day, some of us find that we can nurture that feeling of connection by staying in touch with David friends, by writing articles and by commenting on fan blogs.
I have to say that I have a bit of nostalgia for the old days of notingDavid. I would wake up each morning, make my tea and open up Rascal’s blog. It was my morning “paper” before I headed out to work. Was there a new article today? What was Rascal’s take on the world of David? Was he exploding with pleasure over a new song? Was he analyzing a career move, or swooning over a new photograph? Would there be a snarky video or a clever photoshopped picture to enjoy? From my point of view as a commenter back then, my main concern was to wonder if someone would actually notice that I had written something – oh joy! Those were simpler times.
Of course it wasn’t simpler for Rascal. He alone shouldered the burden of writing articles. He was the one who created a community space for all of us, as he waxed eloquent in his critical analysis and fanboy adoration of David. He had to endure the positive as well as the negative emails and critical comments all on his own. No matter what you think of his opinions, it was Rascal who created a space where David could be taken seriously as an artist. It was also Rascal who gave many of us a space to connect and find other like-minded souls. In retrospect, it was a spectacular feat for Rascal to bring together such a disparate group of fans and to maintain that community for so long.
Rascal and others combined talents and energy to create The David Chronicles last April and several of us have had the opportunity to experience first-hand the ups and downs of running a blog. It has been largely a joyous journey with the pleasure of learning new things mixed with the love of David and his music. It’s also been an education to be in a public place where both praise and criticism can be leveled.
And here we are, months and months later. Why am I still here? Why are any of us still here? Whether we participate in this DavidWorld as a lurker, commenter or admin of a blog, whether we are loyal to one blog, or visit several regularly, the question is: what keeps us involved and passionate? In three weeks I will be attending the Santa Rosa and San Francisco VIPs. What continues to compel me to buy expensive tickets and take time off work for this young man?
In large part, it is the lovely people that I’ve met along this path – people of intelligence and creativity and gentle tenderness, people who have become friends and creative partners. It is a joy beyond joys to collaborate with Rascal and Marlie and Ronald. You couldn’t ask for a group of people who are more committed and generous and smart and funny. And in addition, I’ve collected a great bunch of delightful concert buddies and friends who enrich my life with laughter and fun.
But of course at the heart of it all, is the Voice. Even if I don’t achieve nirvana on every cut of the new album, there are always moments that take me back to that place when I first fell in love. I find that watching David sing Contigo or listening to him sing Ave Maria never disappoints, even on multiple listenings. Every time I hear those songs, he takes me to that place of connection and love. And of course seeing David live is simply a different experience all together.
So here we are. Nothing stays the same. Our relationship to David and to each other constantly shifts and changes. There is a Buddhist teaching that urges us to refrain from grasping. We are advised to want things, but not to be attached – to allow both pleasure and pain to be experienced, but not to hold on tightly to either. As the ground shifts slightly in the world of David, I am practicing holding on lightly to the things I enjoy, and allowing the difficulties of change to be experienced, but not to linger. Alliances and blogs will shift and change, but David will continue to grow and amaze us all.
How would you answer that question: “Why are we still here? Why are we still fans of David? Why do we still post and blog?”