From Tim McGraw’s popular “Live Like You Were Dying” ballad to personal bucket lists, the “live life to its fullest” mentality is commonplace in our society, but one artist is making this notion visual.
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Candy Chang, artist and urban planner, turned the side of her abandoned house into a giant chalkboard and stenciled it with a grid of the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” With a piece of sidewalk chalk, residents filled in the blanks with their aspirations for the future. What began as a symbolic gesture after a catastrophic event turned into a nationwide movement known as “Before I Die.”
Chang’s website describes the movement:
“Before I Die is an interactive public art project that transforms neglected spaces into constructive places where we can discover the hopes and dreams of the people around us. It is also a reminder to ourselves of what is most important to us.”
Thanks to passionate people around the world who have spearheaded their own walls, there are now more than 300 Before I Die walls in over 50 countries and over 20 languages.
As a result, Candy put together a book to celebrate many of these walls and give people an opportunity to reflect on life’s big question. The Before I Die book (St. Martin’s Press) will be published in November 2013.
Whether single or married, Catholics are called to appreciate the blessings of today and to put our treasures and hopes in a place that is not of this world. Make a list of things you want to accomplish before you die and start checking items off your list tomorrow.
Each day offers us the opportunity to live life fully, and it’s up to us to embrace every second.
If you could write on one of the “Before I Die” walls, what would write?