Brenna and Evan’s Story (#131)

I received this letter today from Brenna.  This is the most amazing story…

I hit the playa heartbroken last year.

Two months before going to Burning Man in 2012 my husband, Evan, and I had been told by fertility specialists that “it was highly unlikely that we would ever conceive a child naturally.” After trying to get pregnant for three years, multiple invasive procedures and investing a hell of a lot of money, we felt like we had no more options. So we gave up. We decided to focus on enjoying life and the upcoming burn. It turns out, not being able to have kids while at an event themed “Fertility” can be pretty hard and I wasn’t prepared to deal with the harsh truth. My husband and I enjoy very different burns and while he went off to focus on service and meeting others, I sunk deeper into a sadness exacerbated by the fact that many of my close friends weren’t there with me for the first time in years.

On Tuesday, I walked the streets alone, looking for a person I had met earlier who I had hoped I could talk to. After a couple of hours of not finding the person, I dragged myself back to camp, defeated.

There was this guy sitting near the street at the camp across the street from my camp. As I walked past, he simply said “Hi Beautiful.”

I had a friend.

For the rest of the week, whenever I was lonely or needed to talk, all I had to do was walk across the street and talk to Josh Coffy.  I was able to open up to him about my husband and I’s recent derailment in what we thought our future would look like and he was a gentle listening ear.

On Friday of that week, Evan and I were the second people to choose our painting from The Gift Prolific. Evan walked right in, and picked a small painting with three turtles that said “Family” on top. He said it was what we needed, I thought it was a hope for what might come.


We got home, and Evan put it right on our fireplace mantle next to other art we have from around the world. Every time I sit on the couch and look up, I am reminded of a week and a friendship that kick started the healing.

And then, we got the surprise of a lifetime. In April of 2013, we contacted Josh and told him that we would like to commission him to create a painting of our family. Except, now there weren’t two in our family, I was pregnant and there were about to be three of us!  The painting we received was a perfect representation of us: through strength and mutual support, the Bear and the Bird had weathered the storm.


This year, we will be on the playa, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our daughter approximately four weeks later!


We never gave up hope for that family we so desperately wanted.

Thanks for the paintings Josh!

Thank you Brenna and Evan!  I am so happy to have met you last year and been a small part of your amazing story.  Thank you for being a part of my project and my life….and supporting my art.

Brenna and Evan’s camp was across the street from the gallery.  I made friends with quite a few of the ‘Love Puddle’ people.  On Friday, the give away day, Love Puddle opened their bar early and made all the people waiting in line really comfortable and happy.

I had a few conversations all week with Brenna about child bearing and their situation.  Tears welled up in my eyes when they picked the turtle painting.  I have never met anyone who deserves to have a family more than they do.  In just a few interactions with them it is easy to see that they will be great, loving parents.  So when they commissioned me to make them a painting I wanted to go that route….Family.  And this painting just came out of nowhere….it fit perfect.  I am so honored to get to create art for them.

On another note….Darwin and I are riding up to Burning Man this year with Brenna.  We can’t wait to hang out with many of the people in their camp.  And be together where we first met.  Take care.


About giftprolific

My name is Joshua Coffy and I am an artist living in San Francisco. You can see my art at as well. Thanks for your time.
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4 Responses to Brenna and Evan’s Story (#131)

  1. ashleysuemoore says:

    How beautiful!

    • barb says:

      this is the shit that life’s dreams are made of, good luck in the future and I hope all things work out for all of you! what a beautiful story!!!

  2. LG (aka Reply Prolific) says:

    Wow Josh, although I’m always delighted when I hear you are still receiving feedback from the art you gave away last year, this one was many times more powerful than most; what an amazingly beautiful and poignant story!
    Although I knew nothing about Burning Man until I met you, and realistically I am not likely to ever experience it firsthand, I find that somewhat similar things occur to me in my everyday life; at times, the smallest things I do in life turn out to be so much more important and meaningful in other’s; I continue to be amazed and humbled by the experience.
    SO happy to read about the effect both the person you are and the art you create had on someone else!

  3. Matt Perry says:

    This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

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