This is my first time posting on this blog; while having followed it throughout its existence, I did most of my mourning and reflection in private. Today, on Drew's birthday, the following Instant Messaging session with Jenn inspired me to share how Drew's talent inspired (no time for thesaurus) me:
The first quality time I got to spend with Drew as an adult was in 2005 in Israel. While the main event of that summer was Orie's Bar Mitzva, Drew and Eric also set on a personal documentary(/mockumentary) tour of the country; Eric with an oversized first generation mini-DV, and Drew with the manual film camera—not that I had the slightest idea why or how to appreciate this oldschoolness back then. Throughout the summer, I joined the 2—along with Jenn—on every expedition I was available for. That summer illustrated a fundamental mathematical equation that forever holds: ∂rew = 1 - photography (had to play with the algebra, otherwise it'd sound too corny). While—looking back at it—I was not yet able to appreciate the true art in Drew's gift, I immensely admired his talent, dedication, and PASSION. God, he had passion... what else could possibly drive a man to do a photo shoot while hooked up to a bag of chemo?
Many summers have passed since, and with them our beloved Drew. This past May, when I had saved up enough money to get a camera, I initially went out and got what the typical consumer would get–an ultra-compact camera "to carry around anywhere"---------------------------------------------->
After a few days with the camera, some internal drive—which, retrospectively, I've increasingly attributed to Drew—was telling me to get a "real" camera and see what I can do with it. So I returned the sub-compact, dug out of the last pennies form my college-student pockets and got myself a Nikon D60, along with a fashionable carrying case so I would "take the camera everywhere I would take a sub-compact"------->
I skipped the free Ritz Camera courses I got with the purchase and got a couple of books from the library instead; one that taught me the technical basics in 15-20 minutes, and another with brilliant photos and descriptions of their styles. ~6 months later, I CONSTANTLY tell myself, as well as others how I wish I had discovered photography while Drew was still here; WOW, the possibilities...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DREW! I think of you every time that shutter snaps bringing a bit of you in each of these:
Love you always; your cousin, Leeron
[Chronologically ordered from June up until the picture I sent Jenn, which was taken last night]