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11/29/2006

DREAM WEAVER

I'm practicing for a wedding. I don't do weddings. Not because I'm above it but because I'm not that good. You have to be an actual singer to pull off a song you didn't write, in public, with any amount of confidence. Scary.

I wouldn't do this for just anyone. But for the Dream Weaver I'd do anything, as long as it's legal in the majority of states and doesn't involve clowns. Clowns scare me more than songs I didn't write. Dressing as a clown and singing a song I didn't write - now that's hell.

I called Jamie years ago when I was working in a cell (office) over at Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing as the archive guy - sitting for eight hours a day burning reels of Southern Gospel from the seventies onto CDs to be stored in a vault somewhere for safe keeping. I drove in rush hour traffic. I wore slacks. And a tie. I used a PC. I was miserable.

Jamie oversaw all volunteers at out church but also, I'd heard, had a knack for unsticking people - helping them figure out what they're true talents are and sending them off in a direction where those talents can be put to good use. Basically, she's a guidance counselor.

The guidance counselor at my high school offered little guidance. I walked into Mrs.Mosely's office my Senior year and agonized for an hour or more about the excruciating choice I had to make between art school and music school. "What about architecture? You get to draw and it's a more substantial occupation with a greater earning potential," she guided.

When Jamie took my first phone call she never mentioned earning potential. She listened. Then she promised to get back to me. She did. She used weird language I'd never heard from Mrs.Mosley. She wanted to help me find my "passion" and figure out what my "shape" is and then discover where that "shape" fits in the church and the world around me. And after just a few of these strange but enlightening conversations the fog cleared for me. I could see what I was made to be and had a good idea of what my next moves in life should be.

Three years later I was teaching a bible study at church, working in the preschool department on Sunday mornings and making music for a living. I signed a poster for her: "To the Dream Weaver." The name just sort of stuck.

Jamie's office is still a home away from home for me. She's a friend in the truest sense of the word - a no nonsense friend. She sits straight up at her desk, a pen and a legal pad at the ready and asks, "Tell me what to pray for. How are you really doing? Do you need money? How's your colon?" And when I'm being dramatic, she tells me. When I'm thinking too little of myself, she tells me that too. And when she needs something from me she asks without hesitation.

"I want you to sing at my daughter's wedding. Are you busy rock star?"

No. I'm not. Of course, I'm thinking now I should have just told her singing at weddings isn't my shape.

Time to practice.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Hale-Yeah! said...

Same here, I hate doing weddings. People think that because you sing on Sunday that you are good. Plus, I just don't do the whole "perform" thing well. I'd rather be leading worship where hopefully the people out in the crowd aren't 100% focused on me and how I sound.

11/29/2006  
Anonymous Shawn Bashor said...

Shaun, I think it is awesome that you are giving back to a woman who seems to have given to you more than words can describe. While weddings might not be your"shape", I think that stepping outside that "box" of our own comfort level is health sometimes. It is indeed what "shapes" us all.

11/29/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

You spin me right now baby right round like a record baby...

11/29/2006  
Anonymous Ryan G. said...

Any chance this is the same lady from the 'crisis of faith' a few months back?

I dread doing weddings as well, but I know they make me a better musician and singer, having to learn someone else's riffs and melodies stretches me.

11/30/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun,
I too call the "Dream Weaver" a friend and I agree 100% with your description of her. She has called me just to find out how I'm really doing. She doesn't ask if she doesn't want to know. I'll never forget the time she called me a "little sh**". She was exactly right, that is how I was acting. Only someone who loves you can say that to you and not hurt you. I was thrilled when she told me that you're singing at her daughter's wedding. I know how much that means to her. She (and I) know you will do a fantastic job!

tc

11/30/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Not the same lady.

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