Making a Mark

As a species, we seem to be innately attuned to the need – cave paintings in France and Sulawesi, shell etchings in Java, a padlock on a bridge … a blog post … We need to make our mark …

What is it that attracts? The act of making, or the fact that there will be something that post-dates our physical existence …

Making Our Mark

35,000 years ago – we felt an urge to paint outlines of our hands on caves walls. And I say ‘we’ because it seems to be a species-wide undertaking. Unconnected by geography, connected by DNA – this act seems instinctive …. intuitively pursued.

It could have been an elaborate greeting – “hi – nice to meet you”.

It could equally have been our ancestors wanting to demonstrate their existence. While some of the paintings communicate the presence of potential food sources … these hands seem to be simply a historic version of “I woz ere”.

… and the act has filtered through multiple millennia; refinements not diminishing the primal motive.

Making a mark.

How do we do it in 2016? Why do we do it in 2016? How do I and why do I?

We  etch our name into the side of rocks or at street corners of wet cement; we aspire to third party acknowledgement in the form of bronze-hued wall-mounted plaques; we stand in picket lines attempting to change the present in order to ensure the future; we buy brushed steel-padlocks from local hardware stores and link them ‘forever’ around unsuspecting bridge infrastructure …

Ask anyone why they do any of these things … there would be a multitude of fully-rationalised explanations … but possibly the true ‘why?’ is gene-deep.

Do we have an instinctive understanding of our temporary place in this world; the act of making a mark equally instinctive – intended to suppress fear of the unknown? I

… are we stardust and, as a result, have an innate knowledge of the scope of the universe; making marks the reaction to our nanoscopic size?

I don’t know why I want to make my mark.

I simply know that I do.


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