Where I was back then

Ten years ago I had just graduated high school and was working a crap overnight job living in Illinois with my friend Sarah’s family. I remember waking up and seeing the television with the towers smoking, but in my sleepy haze from coming in only a few hours prior I thought that I was still dreaming of superheroes.

When I woke up later that day and saw the televisions were still the same, I knew something had happened.  The talk about the events that transpired continued to late in the night… around a different television with our other friends.

We didn’t know how much the world was going to change.  I didn’t know anyone in New York or in the service.  I don’t believe my friends did either.

I remember how much travel has changed because of it.  How 10 years ago I wouldn’t think there would be anti-terrorist troops out in masses on my train ride cross town to see my dad or the massive lines of security at the airport.

I would like to say that Americans are less selfish than they used to be.  I would like to say that we have united together for something greater.

One nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Ten years have passed and we have made some progress towards that goal.  But we still aren’t quite there yet.

Where were you when 9/11 happened? How has it changed you? I want to know.

Always Remember.

For Marie

As many of you know, my cousin- one of the most inspirational figures of my travels into the art world, passed away recently due to breast cancer.  I have been battling the sadness that comes with one of my childhood heroes fading to black since we got the call a few weeks ago that she was going to go any day now.

As the “artsy” kid of the family, I have found myself returning to thoughts of her more and more each day.  It’s made me realize how truly important to keep company with people whom inspire me.   One such person is my friend Mark.

Mark and I met through social media events, which then turned into various run-ins of art/eccentric functions.  He is someone I’ve valued and appreciated for years.  But what he did yesterday brought me to tears.

You see, Mark went to Burning Man this year.  For those of you not in the know, Burning Man is an art festival held in Black Rock City Nevada.  It is one of the most populated cities in the state for the week that it exists.  Burning Man is an event to some, but a community experience to many others.  It represents growth, transition, and artistic expression.

Each year at the end of the festival, two monuments are burned to the ground: the Man (the symbol that represents the festival), and the Temple of Transitions.  On the temple, you are encouraged to write messages that will be released to the sky.  When Mark returned he sent me the following picture of what he wrote on the temple wall:

I want you all to know that I am forever thankful for each of you.  The people we surround ourselves with assist in creating the bigger picture of our lives.  They are gifts.  Treasure them while they’re still here… and when they’re gone. Aspire to cultivate masterpieces with the people in your life.  Each and every day.