so someone went around our rickety old adirondack chairs with the signs that said “sidewalk closed” in order to walk across the newly-poured sidewalk. clearly, this person wants to be remembered. judging by the print, this person is male, relatively long-legged, dons footwear sans brand markings on the sole and leans a bit heavier on his right foot than his left. since that is not much to go on, there is not much to be remembered. just that he wanted to make some sort of statement that day and marched right around the barriers and right through our new cement.
on the trail through the woods hiking on sunday we went along a train track for a ways. a new-looking black locomotive of a long freight train blew its whistle and we peered through the trees to watch. the train was really long and every car was the same, which seemed unusual. freight trains in these parts usually have all kinds of boxcars, flatcars, hoppers, tanktainers, double-stacked container cars. the only differing aspect of these silver hoppers was the graffiti on the side of the cars. most looked newer – or newly scrubbed – but some had lots of added color…the meaning-making marks of spray paint artists who somehow are able to find ways to paint, despite whatever barriers might exist in the rail yard.
i suppose we all have an imperative to leave a mark. to say “i was here” in one way or another. we visit antique shoppes and tease that my cds and his paintings will someday be piled in tiny booths with 20%-off-sale signs and no curator or record-spinning-dj to “explain” our work. one of these days it will be difficult to find a way to actually physically play cds – so for that, i guess i’m happy a lot of it is digitalized, mp3s, like jpegs and tiffs of david’s paintings that are floating about the internet. marks.
this is our 201st consecutive week of writing these blogs for our melange. 201 weeks, five days a week (and more recently six). rapidly approaching four years of writing in this context, together. if each post is about 500 words – or so – that is over 500,000 words. each. together – in just these last 201 weeks – it’s well over a million words. lotsa marks. blogsites can be cumbersome. they can be barriers to leaving-a-mark because of the technology. but not insurmountable. social media can barrierize one’s efforts, particularly social media that indiscriminately shuts down profiles for community standards that have not actually been violated. but one walks around the old adirondack chairs and figures it out. because marks take a little effort sometimes.
i’m hoping that person-x is feeling more acknowledged by the time the utilities come back out in the spring to pour a permanent cement sidewalk out front. as someone who put tiny initials in a zoo sidewalk thirty years ago, i can’t say i don’t understand. i just hope that if we put up better barriers, the only marks in the new sidewalk will be ours.