Dear Robert, The comments from your artist friend that "art is a reliable means of leaving something of ourselves behind" particularly hit a note with me. With sincere humility, I have long felt that art is about leaving my mark on the wall of time. Like graffiti, the creative act is a way to say, "I was here. I lived. This is who I was. These are my memories, my response to this time and place. This I leave for you." No great expectations, just an honest handprint.
Always great to share thoughts with other artists ... and art-lovers.