Any other Moody Blues fans here?
I was looking through my pictures of Clay recently (yeah,I know...a tough job but someone has to do it, right?) and I had to stop and spend a few moments with one of my favorites...
...and I found I had these lyrics of John Lodge's running through my head:
With the eyes of a child you must come out and see
That your world's spinning round and through life you will be
A small part of a hope of a love that exists
In the eyes of a child you will see.
Now, there are tons of wonderful pictures of Clay to drool over - I mean to look at. But the pictures of him with children always hit me in a special place.
Singing with Brianna in Raleigh.
Cradling Quiana's tiny son in those beautiful hands of his.
Backstage with the choirs from the first Joyful Noise tour.
The picture above from a UNICEF event.
But none are more special, more meaningful, more powerful, more poignant than those of Clay with the special children that mean so much to him.
Pictures of Clay singing to Mikayla in front of her classmates. Staring at sleeping children in Uganda. Dancing and singing and laughing with children struggling to re-build their lives after a devastating tsunami in Banda Aceh.
And of course the photos of him with Mike Bubel....whose mother Diane we all have so much to thank for.
But that's how WE see Clay Aiken....the caring, compassionate, dedicated man who sets time out of his busy schedule to make sure these children's voices are heard. While his contemporaries are partying from nightclub to exclusive nightclub.... Clay is testifying before Congress for additional funds for the ravished areas of Indonesia. Instead of spending small fortunes on "bling" and imported champagne, Clay is making sure he manages to get from a television appearance in California to his meeting of a Presidential committee he's been appointed to. And he makes that meeting, even through bad weather that stopped many members who had much shorter distances to travel. The same man who is, apparently, scheduling his long-awaited summer pop tour around his next trip for UNICEF.
And who, at the end of March is hosting a special benefit performance in his hometown for his very own successful and highly regarded Bubel/Aiken Foundation for the inclusion of special needs children into mainstream programs.
We see all that when we look at this man named Clay Aiken....all that and more. We see the loveable dork that shaved his leg and got a "tattoo" of Jimmy Kimmel for laughs. We see our Hot Rock Star God tossing his long mane while rocking out with his band. We see someone that has persevered and maintained his dignity and integrity while being the target of scurrilous tabloid lies. We see a man with a razor-sharp wit and impeccable comedic timing teasing his die-hard fans about their foibles and fantasies. We see the man who has the voice of a generation....who sings like "nobody else on this planet" (thank you, Shelly)
That's what WE see when we look at Clay Aiken. But looking through the eyes of a child....all those children in the photos above and many, many more whose pictures we haven't seen....what do THEY see when THEY look at this beautiful, wonderful man named Clay Aiken?
I think they see....caring....and hope....and most of all I think-no, make that-I know....they see love.
Thank you Clay, for being the man you are and showing so many of us how to be ...." a small part of a hope of a love that exists in the eyes of a child "
Related Tags: Clay Aiken, The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, UNICEF, Moody Blues, Jimmy Kimmel