A dear friend passed away on June 15 after a 16 month struggle with cancer. Martin Holloway was both a catalyst for creativity and a levelling agent through turbulent times for me and many others. How Marty lived his life is a testament to sustainable and meaningful living. A true minimalist, ecologist, Park Ranger, adventurer, deep house DJ, and tireless dancer to the rhythms of life, Marty taught simply by being. I was impelled to write some words to share at a gathering to honour Marty and feel that there is merit in sharing them at worldbliss.

When I think of Marty, I see a well planned list:

  • deep house music,
  • a daily walk in a natural environment,
  • a mischievous grin,
  • and always, a sense of adventure.

A couple of months ago Marty explained to me that he did not want a funeral. Ever so practical and always beyond wanting to be the centre of attention, Marty told me that he would rather people simply take a walk in nature, to look around and rejoice in the beauty all around them. Perhaps a little feisty in his non-conforming, Marty has likely taught us all about the utility of making the most of every moment. In February Carolyn said something that I will never forget, “Despite his illness, Marty is the most alive person in the room.” Indeed.

The natural world was Marty’s church, praying by playing, intimately awake to the subtle wonders of the moment. We have gathered to pay our respects to a dear friend, brother, son. We are left with memories, stories, and faith – however we choose to define it. These are all things that we need to share to remember a truly remarkable person. And this is something that we can do everyday with a simple walk in the natural world – to see the beauty that Marty saw.

The birds eye view that paragliding provided Marty gave him an elevated perspective and a metaphysical metaphor. When flying a paraglider you climb up by catching thermals, the rising air. Marty talked about practicing for the last great thermal. Throughout his struggle with cancer Marty worked down his list and found an incredible amount of peace with the metaphysical unknown. True to himself he remained open yet wanting to see tangible evidence. On the morning of Wednesday June 15, 2011 Marty caught that last great thermal and has embarked on the next grand adventure.