So I have ANOTHER question today. And THIS time I’m asking for YOUR input!
Lori Carlson from AS THE FATES WOULD HAVE IT just commented on my yesterday’s Damned if I know… post that her dad once held her up so she could carve her initials into a covered bridge. All the bells and whistles in my head went off when I read it. WHY, I wondered, do people feel the need to do that???
When my dad was stationed in Hawaii during WWII, he had a favorite tea house he frequented (which I’ve never been able to understand since he hated tea). Outside there was a small grove of palm trees, and in one he felt the need to carve his name. Thirty-some odd years later when he and mom finally made it back there, the first thing dad did was go looking for that tree. And yes, his initials were still there.
Now I’m a bit of a tree hugger, so I Googled some info about this whole carving thing and found that:
When someone carves letters and symbols into the bark of a tree, he or she is cutting into its vascular system, which transports water and food throughout the tree, Mosman said. As long as the cuts are not too deep and do not completely encircle the trunk, a tree will seal off the damaged section and heal itself. “The problem is if you were to cut that vascular system completely around the stem of a tree,’’ he said. “It could kill it.’’ Individual people carving their names, love signs, and other hieroglyphs all around a tree can kill it, too, from a “Swiss cheese kind of effect,’’ said Nathan Phillips, a professor at Boston University who studies tree physiology and ecosystems. That is especially a problem if the gouges are made too deep, he said. But, he added, trees “often show a tremendous amount of resilience. It’s kind of two sides of a coin.’’ (Boston.com)
That didn’t do much to make me feel better. A tree is still a living thing and I couldn’t help wondering if it hurt them!
There have been times I’ve wanted to leave my mark to commemorate an occasion. Not far from our family cabin is a rock on which I was sitting when I got my first kiss from a boy I liked — a lot! A few weeks later when my family was up there, I painted mine and Mike’s name and the big date on that sucker! It’s still there, 53 years later! It’s in the shade of a grove of Quakin’ Asps, but is a little faded. However, I bet folks hiking by there have wondered over the years who the heck these people WERE and WHY they put a bloomin’ date on that rock!. 😀
When we were having our house built, Drollery and I slipped out here one night just after they poured the porch and scratched our names in the wet cement. The funny thing was, he spelled his wrong!!! LOL
So what is it about leaving our “mark” that is so essential to our “being?” Or do you think that’s an exaggeration?
If so, have a quick read of Sophie Hay’s fascinating post Scratching the Surface. Yes, people actually DO deface artifacts! (You can see the name T. Hogg better on her blog.) It was a fabulous post! Even in Mark Twain Cave and Jesse James’ hideout, there are names all over the place.
So here are my questions to you today, my dear inquisitive buddies!
1. Have you ever carved your name into anything (or left graffiti on something, the modern-day version)?
2. What was it?
3. Why did you do it?
4. And are there OTHER ways we leave our mark?
MY inquisitive mind wants to know!!!
names on tree — acreatorsworld.wordpress.com
porch — moi
column from the Temple at Soleb, Sudan — https://pompei79.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/scratching-the-surface/