Monday, December 5, 2011

Knoxville, I love you darlin'. It's time to go.

2011. The year of throwing back the sheets. Grabbing the guitar. Heading to God-knows-where to play a show. Sleeping on someone’s floor or a Super 8. It has been a good year. It has been a year of looking at the approaching bills and doing the math of how much I’ll make at this show in order to pay car insurance by this date. But that’s not how it started, and that’s not how it will end.

I moved to Knoxville at the turn of the year in 2007. I came here to be a youth minister. Later, I resigned from that ministry still loving those people, but started pursuing a career in music. I got a job at Oodles Uncorked in Market Square. (Market Square is my favorite place on earth.) The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, I have lived in a freezing house full of guys I cared deeply about. Those were raucous times. I lived in an apartment where I heard UT students drunkenly stumbling outside my window. I lived out in the country of South Knoxville with one of my dearest friends and a bulldog. Now I live upstairs at some other friends’ house.

Knoxville has been my coming of age tale. Sure, it took me until 27 to come of age. However, there comes a time when you just come of age, and that chapter simply ends. Before I get to that, I’ll tell you about this town.

I can’t put it down in any conceivable order, really.

Market Square. Kids in diapers splashing in fountains.

Brick sidewalks guide me to the best black coffee you’ve never had.

Music pours from pubs with hardwood floors and dangling Christmas lights.

I ride a bike with eighty other people from venue to venue. We interrupt a thousand people watching an outdoor movie.

I'm getting in the car with Stewart and Kym. We’re headed to the tree house a man built. God told him to.

I'm there for Jude’s birth and, later, for Eleanor’s. I see Bill and Betsy’s face shortly after they have seen their own children for the first time.

I'm walking past the radio station and I wave to Matt Morelock outside his music store.

JK and Gamble are playing pool at Toots while Kelly and Lauren are singing karaoke.

Tony is meeting with a friend of his who has no home and they are both doing sketches on a picnic table.

A man plays guitar with his dog at his feet.

I’m riding my bike to the studio through the bitter cold for Eric and I to brainstorm what the current song needs.

I’m laughing my head off on a porch. The sun’s going down, and the summer air clings to our skin.

I’m crying my eyes out with a friend while the traffic plows past their window.

Knoxville, I love you darlin’.

So, I’ll let you know what’s next. When January hits… After my fifth year in Knoxville is complete, I’m headed to Joplin, Missouri. Today I just accepted a dream job. I’m headed to CIY (Christ in Youth) to help them create a brand new conference called Mix. You can look up more details about them online, but I will say, briefly, that they are a Christian conference I trust.

See, I grew up attending Christian conferences where I got yelled at about sexual urges. It was weird. This is run by a group of people I would trust with my life. These are people who believe faith should lead to action. I have seen them charge kids to fight the water crisis, sex trafficking, and violence overseas. This is a conference where faith is elevated but, to the best of man’s ability, not distorted. Quite simply, hope is spread. Isn’t that what Jesus did, anyway?

I’m excited to be helping with the writing, planning, and creating that is involved in producing this new four-day summer conference for jr. high students. There’s not much that could take me away from the city I have grown to love so much and, more importantly, the people in it. But this is something I believe in, and I guess that’s what all of us should head towards, anyway.

Life seems to be a collecting of places we call home. Collecting places our souls long for.

I am thoroughly excited. I am thoroughly sad to leave. But we head towards what we believe in.

I’ll be swinging back through very soon, I’m sure. In the meantime, K-town, keep the tunes loud.


TW Seevers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TW Seevers said...

thanks for sharing and enjoy your ride! CIY is getting one pretty awesome guy and you have so much to offer them. God will use this in big ways, man. There is something about k-town that sticks with us forever...I will always miss living there...and the babies in diapers at the fountains are my absolutely fav. Peace to you...Jodi

Caleb Trimble said...

You're incredible and will do amazing things everywhere. CIY is gonna rock with you on their team.

Leslie said...

Congratulations! I know you'll miss K-town but now you've got a whole new town to rock. You and CIY are going to benefit from each other.

Tuck said...

That's awesome to hear. I think you will be able to do some great things with CIY. Are you going to still be doing worship for the conferences? I'm probably going to try to take my youth group to one of the CIY conferences this summer.

Tony said...

Damnit Taylor.....but....Damnit Taylor!!! Go get em.

Eddy Haynes said...

Knoxville will loose a GREAT talent but know you will do good things. Best of luck. Eddy