I remember the moment I heard Jim Lauderdale sing "I Love You More." It was the first time he played at The Spinning Jenny … he would come back and play many beautiful songs … but, that moment. That moment. That's the one I remember. I was all the way in the back of the hall working in the bar. I vaguely remember him introducing the song, telling how he wrote it on a trip to Scotland, but I was busy doing stuff. Pouring drinks, wiping up spills, organizing little messes … the usual. And then the song started and this simple, hauntingly-achy voice came back and touched my heart. It said and felt all the things that I wished I could articulate but somehow can't. I remember holding my breath and stopping everything to just take it all in. And I remember the hall was completely still except for him. It was as if we all stopped moving to just enjoy this moment together. I had to get as close as I could and crept towards the back of the audience. I remember being so afraid the creaking wood floor would break this spell, but more fearful I wouldn't be able to get close enough to be part of that moment before it was over. That's what it felt like … this gorgeous fleeting moment that had to be experienced right then or I would miss it. And emotions came … I felt myself wanting to cry from the beauty of it all.
Afterwards, I have my normal things I must do. Final numbers, pay everyone, clean up … all the stuff. When it was time to pay Jim, I wanted to tell him how that song made me feel. I tried to say how much I was moved, but I think I just fumbled out some words. I wanted to thank him for making this beautiful thing and sharing it with me. Thank him for letting me feel these strong emotions and release them out in the world. He looked at me … really looked at. Like he saw me. He gave me a hug and told me that the song was special to him as well. And I really think he understood what I couldn't say. Sometimes, the music must just be felt and experienced.
Next week, he's coming back to play with Jason Ringenberg and Chuck Mead and His Grassy Noll Boys at the Jenny. They're doing a tribute to their roots, so I don't expect he'll play this song again. But that's ok, the beauty of it still is a part of me.