Okay, so this weekend I went with my sister Jen to San Francisco. I was supposed to fly to Las Vegas, meet Jen, and then we would fly on to San Fran. But it didn't work out that way. I missed my stinking flight! I was frustrated of course and was about ready to bag the trip but Jen was mellow about it and said she would just find me another flight. I also had the words in my mind, "All things happen for a reason." An hour and a half later I was on a straight flight to San Fran and met up with Jen. In this process my luggage was wandering around and they ended up putting it on a later flight that night. We would have to return and pick it up. So Jen, me, and baby Henley set out towards downtown San Fran. We found a place that we had wanted to eat and then just drove around looking at how beautiful and unique San Francisco is. A couple hours had gone by when we debated on whether or not to go check in to our hotel or go grab my baggage. We chose to head back to the airport. As we pulled up to passenger pick up, I jumped out while Jen was going to try and linger as long as possible. I knew where to locate my bag and on finding it, I headed back to the car. The lamedog airport security had Jen moving forward and I started kind of chasing her down. I called her on my cell and she pulled over. I threw my bag in the back and hopped in. NOW…this is where the miracle starts to open up. It was dark outside and I just happened to turn my head to the right and look out the window as we were proceeding out of the airport. I see a guy standing there with his hands in his pockets, singing quietly to himself and obviously waiting for his ride. I say out loud, "Oh my gosh…that looks like Mark Kozelek!" I scrunched my eyes to get a better look and I'm thinking that HAS to be him! Jen says, "You mean the guy with all the guitars?" ha! I hadn't even noticed them! By his feet he had three guitars. At this point I tell Jen to pull the car over and I jumped out of that car and ran in his direction.
PAUSE. Who is Mark Kozelek? And why do I care if he is standing on the curb at the San Fran airport? Mark is the lead singer of a band I loved over ten years ago, Red House Painters. I discovered that band in a unique way and they became an instant favorite. Probably the most melancholy music on the market…Marks voice is both soothing and sorrowful, backed up by acoustic guitars and melodies. I have always been drawn to that kind of music. Some see it as very depressing, and well, to some, it can be. But for me, It has always been very comforting. You can tell when someone has walked through the drenching rains and heart wrenching experiences of mortality. Those who suffer from depression. He is one of those people. You can hear it in their music. They sometimes are able to say what you cannot about how you feel. Their words are a breath of fresh air, and you don't feel so alone in the world. You feel what they have endured and you instantly feel a kinship with those souls. Mark went on to do solo work and also a new band called, Sun Kil Moon. The years have passed and the love I have for the music only increased. I honestly don't think there is a month that has gone by that I have not played one of his songs or cds at one point or another. It just speaks to me. I have admired him and always wished I could see him play live. He is known for being a private person and is not often touring around. His shows are like rare gems and the people who get to see them, in my opinion, are very blessed.
OKAY…back to story.So I get to where he is standing and I say, "Can I ask what your name is?" He say's "Mark"….I smile. I then say, "I know you!"….he shyly smiles and say's…"How do you know me?" And then I proceed to tell him, in my own way, what an amazing person he is, the impact he has had on my life and how grateful I am for who he is. I believe my bold (but not overbearing) words took him by surprise. I'm not one for mincing words and I feel that in this life, there is no reason to not praise and honor those who deserve it. (I also didn't do it in a nerdy fan way! Like, I have all of your songs MEMORIZED and my dogs name is MARK! haha) I think he felt my sincerity and normalcy. :) The beautiful thing about this is that none of this was a coincidence. I don't believe in them. There are billions of people in this world! What are the chances? NONE! But there is a Heavenly Father who knew of a girl's gratitude for another soul on the earth, his influence upon her, and what it would mean to her to have a chance to say thank you in person. I felt the spirit of the Lord as I spoke to him. I treated him as though I had known him my whole life. Some of the things I said even surprised myself. I later thought on this conversation and realized how the Lord directed it. Mark was gracious and asked about where I was from, why I had come to San Fran, if I was Mormon. (We had a great little chat about that) After about 15 minutes of talking to him, I told him that it was a blessing to meet him. He replied, "It is these kinds of experiences that are a blessing to me, so thank you." He asked for my email and told me that if he ever made it out to do a show in Utah, that I would be the first to know. His ride arrived and after telling him that I HAD to be a nerdy fan and get a photo, he complied and then we both gave each other a hug and a kiss on the cheek just like we were old friends saying goodbye. (With an eternal perspective, perhaps this wasn't the first time) And then I watched him drive away and my sister pull up. Jen and I reflected on this throughout our trip (pammy too as I called her on the phone immediately) and how remarkable this was. How individual the love is that God has for each one of his children and how he knows their hearts. Several times, tears filled my eyes as I realized the reality and truth of the words "For I am a God of miracles." And truly, at that moment, He gave me hope in miracles again.