I first "met" Marija when she discovered my blog. Whenever I received an e-mail alert that she had left a comment I got excited -- because her comments were always some of the funniest and most insightful. She never paid anyone lip service and meant everything she said.
While we never had a chance to meet in person, we corresponded about our love for this Neruda poem and for abandoned architecture. Of the latter, Marija wrote to me and said (with her characteristic sense of humor), "By the way, your post on abandoned architecture? Loved it. It's after reading that in particular that I went "okay, I get this girl - we could be friends." In a not blog-stalkerish kind of way..."
Reading back over that post today, I'm struck by the words of the photographer that must have resonated with Marija at the time:
"Maybe these buildings fascinate me because they represent all of us; maybe they are symbols of our own impermanent status here on earth - metaphors of our transient lives and inability to stop the passing of time...A couple of weeks before my dad died last year, my brothers and I were helping him out of his bed to go to the bathroom. As he struggled down the hall, he said quietly, "take a good look boys, this is going to be you sooner than you think." He was right. Our lives go by so quickly and we leave behind relics of our time here and of what we thought was important. Deep down I know this earth is not my home. `I'm just passing through,' as the old gospel song says."I hope you'll visit her blog one last time to read a beautiful tribute from her husband, and that you'll keep him and their two young children in your thoughts.