Sunday, April 16, 2023

When We Met Jin

 I’d intended to write this a couple of days ago, by the news about the tumor really shook me up. I have things in perspective now, and I’m doing okay—it just took me a minute. So, where were we? 

I’d asked a stranger to jam with me in Italy. You can find that post here: ITALIAN JAM SESSION

“I’ll play a song I just wrote,” Jin said, in English so good that he hardly has an accent. Then he began playing, and the song completely overtook everyone around. 

Music really is the universal language. I swear that when I play with someone, time stops and I see the other musician for who they truly are.

The second I fiddle along with a guitar or piano, I’m in another world—a world void of all finite distractions where musicians’ souls simply sit across from one another. I can learn anything about them. But it’s not about life experiences; it’s about character. 

Some musicians have been surprised after we’ve played because I suddenly know so much about them. Maybe this should be expected since I study how they transition into the choruses, handle the pacing and rhythm, cradle the instrument in their adept hands, and share (or steal) each solo… You can learn so much by the way a person jams.

After the song ended, I told Jin that if he ever wanted to visit Idaho or Yellowstone, he should come and see us.

“I will,” he said. “But just know that when I make a promise, I keep it.”

My family and I exchanged contact information with Jin, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that we talked with him. 

“I posted the video of us jamming in Naples,” I wrote.

“Such an adventure,” he responded. “Then the following message popped up. “I came to Auschwitz. It’s my last day here…and I just finished my visit to the camps.” I felt the devastation in his words. “The pain and sorrow overwhelmed me. And as soon as I opened Instagram to rest my mind, I found your post! It reminded me of the good in humanity and the power and the love each of us can exude—as you and your family did that day. Thank you.”

“I can’t even imagine how I would feel seeing Auschwitz…” I replied, then I wanted him to know how grateful we were to meet him. “Our entire family is so impressed with you. You made our trip to Europe exceptional.”

A couple of months later, Jin surprised me, Ruby, and Sky, by explaining that he’d made a trip to America! “I’m in Nashville right now,” he wrote. “I hope I can make it and see you and your family in March to get a tattoo from Ruby. I’ll try. In any case, thank you—and God—that we were gifted such a moment in Italy. That moment still pushes me forward to this day.”

I didn’t know the logistics, but I didn’t doubt his words for a second. Just as I’d sensed his excellent character when we jammed in Naples, I somehow knew he’d come and see us.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about what happened next!

Read the rest of that story here: 

Reuniting With a Stranger from Across the World

No comments:

Post a Comment