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08 August 2008

Learning to Live

So few people in this world are a living, breathing inspiration. My friend Shayne Chester is such a man. He is an artist, a writer, and a beautiful, passionate person. His irrepressible spirit comes through his art and his words. I like to think that I am in a constant state of becoming the person I am going to be someday. But Shayne is already there -- a man of character and strength, who possesses unyielding integrity. In a recent interview on RedBubble, Shayne was asked what inspired him during his illness. Here is what he said:
Inspired? I’d like to say I was inspired, but it was a far more earthy experience than that, basically it’s been a constant slog, claw over fist, the struggle for survival traveling with the bloody nightmare of intensive chemo. I don’t know how I got through it, but I do remember some things – the smell of fresh cut grass, the thought of laying on the beach getting sunburned, the colours of moss and pidgeons, six litres of Stolichnaya, Rembrandt, Elgar and Shakespeare, smelly Brie and laughing with friends. p.s. I lied about the vodka, I don’t drink.
I count myself as very fortunate to know him and to be his friend. His work, his words, and his refusal to be beaten are an inspiration. I know there were times when he felt too ill to deal with anyone, but he was there to send a supportive and uplifting email to me. He is an amazing human being, and the world is a far better place with him in it.
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