“For true happiness to arise, compassion is necessary.” ~ Dzogchen Ponlop R.
You first met AJ back in 2014 albeit briefly. To recap (for those keeping a family score card), AJ is the oldest son of my first cousin, Renee, and the oldest grandson of her dad, my Uncle Phillip, dad’s brother. AJ is 16 years old now and he’s starting to drive. Renee and husband, Aaron, bought mom’s cool Corolla S back in September and I suspect AJ will be driving it more than his parents shortly. In fact, last night at the Cousin Christmas hootenanny, he was gifted a bucket full of car care products. That’s also where I snapped these shots. AJ is beautiful, but he doesn’t think so. How wrong could he be, I ask you? Whether he likes it or not, he’s one of my muses. The photo I did of him in 2014 is still one of my favorites.
AJ has always been gifted. He enjoys the arts and music. He’s dabbled in drawing, singing, guitars, drums, and acting (he did a great Elvis impersonation when he was little). The last time I saw him, he was looking at going into architecture. Last night, it was welding. That, to me, screams “sculptor,” though they don’t make nearly the money welders make. Whatever AJ does I know he’ll be good at it. My hope is that he’ll be happy doing it. It’s far too easy as a gifted child to acquiesce to being normal for the sake of fitting in. (trust me on this one) It can dampen the creative spirit if not careful. AJ’s a kind soul, gentle and compassionate, like a poet. There’s just something extraordinary about him. What a blessing he is.