Monday, January 14, 2013

Finding Your Way Home

Today's story begins with a glorious sunset.

Yes, I know that sunsets typically come at the end of stories, especially stories about finding your way home. But this is definitely the beginning of mine.

I took this pic as I was driving southbound on I-5, just coming up over the ship canal bridge and catching my first view of the Seattle skyline

Yes, I did snap the photo as I was driving. Do you blame me?

I exited at Union Street and headed west through downtown. The colors of sunset were still blazing through the street corridor, but the traffic lights cast their own glory over the scene.

I parked between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, and went into The Triple Door.

I was early, so I went into the lounge to pass the time. Hmm, their menu features South East Asian cuisine. That, of course, intrigued me, given my fascination with all things Malaysian, so I ordered prawn satay with sticky rice, curry sauce and pickles. It was delicious and I ate every bite.

Still waiting. 

Yes, I did hold an impromptu self-portrait session in the ladies' room. And then I waited some more.

Finally. FINALLY, it was time. My friend, Chris Kwak, and his band, New Heights, took the stage and played a sold-out show in these swanky supper club surroundings. I've known Chris and followed his band since they were high school kids, and to see how far they have come...well, it's hard for me to put into words how proud and moved I am by their success.

New Heights up in lights! I am so impressed, guys. You are all amazing.

As I took in the show tonight, it occurred to me that I don't support this band just because I know the guys, or only because I like their music. I support them because they are passionate, talented young men who simply will not give up their dream. Their dedication, their positive attitude, their unabashed hopefulness not only impresses me but spills over into my life as well. Their music fills me with inspiration and determination to live out my own dreams.

Here are two examples.

This video, at the top of the New Heights YouTube channel, features my friend, Chris, covering Fix You by Coldplay. In regular life, Chris is a pretty humble, unassuming, low-key kinda guy, and it always shocks and amazes me to see how he is transformed when he sings. This is what it looks like when a person is doing what he was born to do.

While they have a lot of fun making videos of covers, New Heights writes their own music for their records. This song, Peaches, is one of their first compositions and a huge fan favorite, written by Chris for his friend named Peaches. Back in the day, he used to go out in my garage to play this song on my old piano that lived out there, and sing along, a soft-spoken teenager with very big dreams. Honestly, that memory fills me with emotion and makes me cry every time I hear Peaches performed at a show. 

It is in you to carry on
It is in you to lay down fears that hold
It is in you to find your way home. 

Thank you, Chris, for putting words to the journey that we are all on. Your music inspires me to be more than who I am.

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I've written other stories about my friend, Chris. Check 'em out:

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