Wednesday, February 27, 2008

espirit de corps

My friend Mark Collins passed away this week. He was 46.

I was watching TV the other night and this movie had already been on when I found it. Maybe I caught the last 30 minutes of it. I had to fill in a lot of blanks. But in the movie; the hero, of course, had to face his fears and overcome some obstacles; join forces with some unlikely companions and then fight the forces of evil. I love stories like this. No matter how cheesy.

At the end of the movie, the hero is standing and overseeing the area and everything is made right and all of the people whom he saved were happy and enjoying themselves. Newly formed relationships were flourishing. And he looked over it and gave a nod of approval. I was moved by this. I can tell a good story if it is a story that I want to be in. One I want to be a part of.

The man who taught me how to appreciate a good story and how to appreciate the arts, was Mark Collins. He was my theatre teacher in high school. My longest and best friendships to date were formed in his classes. I took 3 courses from him. He taught me how to mentally block distraction. He showed me how to see unlimited possibilities from ordinary objects. He forced me to work with people that I wouldn't normally and in environments that were uncomfortable. He taught me how to deal properly with criticism. He affirmed my talents, encouraged my spirit, and rewarded my efforts. He made me believe that I could be a part of the story. Any story.

As I write this, I realize that he must have done this for so many others. So many people benefited from his life. I am humbled to have been a part of his own story.

Rest in peace, MC.

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