Last weekend, I drove to East Lansing, MI to watch my cousin, Ryan, play drums in his graduate recital. He’s acquired a Master’s in Music, Jazz Studies.
He is an AMAZING musician.
I took my camera but found myself unable to take pictures during the recital. I was afraid of somehow spoiling those moments when the music poured out in a vibrant hum. I sat next to my aunt and other cousins in awe as Ryan, from his seat behind the drum kit, led his ensemble of double bass, guitar, piano, and alto sax to rhapsodies of jazz greatness.
I’ve heard Ryan play before. My awe at his creativity and talent grows deeper each time. He calls when he comes to Chicago and invites me to gigs. I’m honored and blessed that he wants to share his gift with me.
There’s an 18 year age difference between us. He grew up several states away from my home state. Our families rarely saw each other so, while I knew of him and watched him grow in Christmas card photos, he never really knew me. Christmas 2008 changed all that.
We met again at his grandmother’s (my aunt’s) and discovered a love of philosophy and a mutual quest to find and understand a purpose for our lives. Those few short hours created a friendship. When I expressed an interest in hearing him play, he took me up on it, which leaves me grateful. His willingness to call and my shared willingness to listen has cemented that friendship.
I am so proud of this young man, my cousin.
So many people go through their lives never finding their purpose, never finding their element. He knew from the time he was a child that music had to be an integral part of his life. How lucky is that?
Ryan has the future ahead of him. It is bright and sure to be filled with success.
It will be a pleasure to watch that unfold.