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.

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