Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our Little Erin

is what we affectionately call our dear friend, Erin Durham. One, because we would like to claim her; and two, because she really is little. She is a wonder woman. This year alone she has managed to finish and defend her honors thesis in history, complete a violin performance degree, win the Oberlin Concerto Competition, solo Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra, lead several chamber music groups, travel with her quartet to South Carolina to perform and coach at a music festival, cook in a co-op, work in the language lab and the Conservatory Library, sing in Collegium, and still find time to attend school full time, keep a regular journal, attend church each week, and even hang out with us. And I'm sure this is only a portion of the things she's done since they are only the things I've been able to observe as an outsider. We had the great pleasure of hosting Erin's family this week who were in town for her Shostakovich performance. They are absolutely delightful people and we learn so much from them when they are here. Erin played fabulously! Her playing has a wonderfully vibrant spirit and energy. She plays with both great command and fluidity. Her cadenza had the whole audience on the edge of their seats. All this aside, she wouldn't be able to communicate through her music the way she does if she weren't the sweet, selfless, spiritual giant that she is. Her love and devotion to God manifests itself in all she does.

Some lessons learned from Erin:
- There is a time for work and play, and the play is more rewarding if you have worked hard and completely. Sometimes work is play, too.
- Speak to your family in loving, soft tones, with reverence and respect.
- Knowledge is its own reward.
- Keep your future goals in mind to motivate your progress today.
- Love unconditionally.
- Keep a journal. Read journals.
- Don't be afraid to express your own individuality and rejoice in others.
- Follow the crowd? What crowd?
- Maybe chocolate cake is good with french toast and jam and syrup on top.
- Let the kids play in the dirt.

There are so many things I've learned from Erin, and I hope I will have the opportunity to continue learning from her. To Erin, congratulations on your many accomplishments and for being so completely awesome! I love you! Oh, and you can't move. :)


Amy said...

Sounds like an awesome person!

A Dose of Joy said...

Oh Mary, this is just so lovely. It sounds like you've been so blessed by your friendship with Erin: I love the lessons you've learned from her!

Talk to you soon,

kjirsti said...

Amen to that!