Leaving A Mark

I watched Fate run round and round the sheep, each time leaving new marks as if she were creating a drawing in the thin layer of new snow.  And it made me think of the marks, I will leave on my world.

Most of us don’t get to affect larger numbers of people, it’s those around us, that come in personal contact with us in one way or another that we touch. Our family, friends, the people we work with or encounter in our everyday lives. The people in our own personal words.

But, no matter what we do, we also have an effect on the earth.  On the small piece of earth we live on and in larger ways with the actions of our day to day lives.

I don’t believe I can ever really know just what my impact on my world is or will be.  My everyday actions conscious or not affect people and the earth in ways, both good and bad.  In driving to the post office and smiling at the person I see walking out as I walk in, when bringing another plastic bag filled with garbage to the dump or creating a potholder, I’m leaving a mark.

Sometimes it’s a physical mark, other times it’s more ephemeral.

It was when I started making art that I took seriously my responsibility for what I put out into the world. Although I’m not always successful, I try to be thoughtful about the marks I leave.

I think Robert Frost poem Range-Finding expresses so perfectly the idea of the marks our actions leave.

Range-Finding  By Robert Frost

The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung
And cut a flower beside a ground bird’s nest
Before it stained a single human breast.
The stricken flower bent double and so hung.
And still the bird revisited her young.
A butterfly its fall had dispossessed
A moment sought in air his flower of rest,
Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung.
On the bare upland pasture there had spread
O’ernight ‘twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread
And straining cables wet with silver dew.
A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.
The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,
But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew.


2 thoughts on “Leaving A Mark

  1. How lovely; thank you for sharing. I’m currently reading The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey (snails have only become interesting to me since reading about the ones that you have). It may be one of the most intriguing books I’ve encountered. Snails leave an incredible “footprint” in their world and their ecosystems. Bailey was an invalid who made a life and home for one snail in her room. She includes so much research (and literature quotes!) that after almost every sentence I think “Wow. I could not have imagined such an influence on so many things by a snail!) I’m almost beginning to understand some of the observations that you write about your snails. (She is, of course, writing about land snails.)

    I was in the educational system for 31 years and often wondered as you did above. What was my affect upon others; did our interactions have any effects upon them; upon me? Yes, I am sure they did; hopefully positive ones! And your effect upon your readers and your clients, your friends and those at the Mansion and the high school, will continue without end. Every time we gaze at something we bought from your shop; or read your blog; or see your images–your beauty and creativity will affect us.

    And we are thankful for finding you.

    May your ripples upon the universe continue to “Infinity and Beyond!” (Not original but still one of my favorite quotes from Toy Story of course.

    1. What you wrote was not lost Barbara, so I posted your first writing although the second said everything you wanted to in the first. I loved that book and forgot about the “footprint” of the snail, I’m going to go back and read that part again. Thanks for your Toy Story quote, it says it so well. I always think of teachers as having such a huge responsibility, too big for me to take on I always thought. I have a feeling you passed on a lot of good.

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