There are so many ways we leave our ‘marks’ upon others’ lives and
upon some small part of the world itself. It may be through your
writing, you have touched someone’s mind and heart. It may be by
your creating a painting, taking a photograph, preparing a special
food dish, making something old, ‘new’ again for someone or. . .
I found the word, “mark” in the dictionary and would like to share
what meanings it has, along with a few expressions that include
various forms of the word, “mark”in them.
The definition for ‘mark’-
1. A visible trace or impression, (line or spot).
2. A symbol, name or other identifier.
3. A name, logo or other indicator.
1. To mark a visible trace or impression, (spot, line or dent).
2. To form, make or depict by making a mark.
3. To supply with natural markings, (a tiger is marked by stripes.)
My favorite use of ‘mark’ is the one I used in the beginning. It means
to contribute to others by making our ‘marks.’ This means leaving
our legacy and how we helped make an impression upon another’s
life. There are many books in the library which are ‘marked’ as either
psychology or philosophy. They contain the current meaning and
suggestions for leading a ‘purposeful life.’
I enjoyed a pastime in high school and college, along with many
years of going to my youngest brother and later in life, my two
daughter’s races. The excitement and anticipation of the races,
builds almost like a ‘frenzy,’ when I picture their putting a foot
into a wooden block to ‘mark’ their place.
Then, an announcer says these dramatic words:
“On your mark. . .
There are other races, such as cars, horses and drag racing, where
the word, “Go!” are accompanied by a gun shot given to ‘mark’ the
beginning of the race.
I have had many dogs in my life, both female and male, ‘mark’ their
territory. This was especially noticeable with my parents’ male dog,
Nicky, who would do this while we were walking in the woods, once
we ‘disembarked’ from their small RV, (actually a Transvan). Nicky
would like to sniff all the other places animals had been ‘marking’
their own parts of the woods.
In concert and symphonic band, our musical teacher and director
would ask us to use a pencil to ‘mark’ our parts. Where I sat, I was
in the woodwinds area, with the clarinet section.
Since I was always a ‘second row player’ I needed to ‘mark’ a harmony.
Rarely was I able to ‘mark’ the melody. In marching band, we would
have to count our steps, playing different marching songs, along with
a few popular songs peppered into the mix. We would find our place
on the field or our ‘mark’ before we would perform or make a pattern.
If the truth be told, I rarely played the first two games of the season.
I would march trying to be accurate in the precise places I needed
to be. Finally, in the third football game I would be confident in the
way I marched and could play my clarinet. Two guys, Armin K. and
Mike C., were the only players who ever commented or noticed. Of
course, I had my clarinet in my mouth and looked like I was playing!
A side note, I love details about grandparents, so hope you will
appreciate my Grandpa Mattson who would call my clarinet, a
“licorice stick.” This is a popular slang term which some in other
countries may never have heard! I want to tell you I still have my
wooden Selby clarinet and can ‘wet my reed’ and perform simple
songs and scales.
If you have a story about music and remember ‘marking’ your place
or listening to the metronome during piano lessons, please share.
The younger Mark Ruffalo, with Jennifer Garner was one of my
youngest daughter’s favorite Mark’s in the film, “13 Going on 30.”
My oldest daughter followed, “New Kids on the Block,” band for
a short ‘minute’ and liked Donnie’s brother, Marky Mark (also his
claim to fame was wearing Calvin Klein jeans. We listened to his
band, “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s” version of the Beach
Boys’ song, “Good Vibrations.”
There are countless other “Mark’s” such as Mark Harmon who
was a ball player, actor in movies and continues to be in “NCIS.”
There was “Mark Anthony,” who Shakespeare focused on, as
well as his being a part of history.
Our great American author, Mark Twain left his ‘mark’ upon our
country’s literature. He shared remarkable stories of life upon the
Mississippi and going out West. His wry perspectives of the times
he lived in, along with honest character portrayals made a ‘mark’
upon my thoughts and writing, too.
I am sure you can think of other famous Mark’s to add. . .
There are many who enjoy the dramatic colors and designs of a
young teenager’s graffiti. They leave their own distinctive ‘mark’
under bridges, overpasses and other cement or brick walls. I don’t
mind graffiti, as long as it is not upon a historical monument, in
a cemetery where respect should be displayed or designations of
being a member of a ‘Gang.’
I enjoy when my grandchildren take colored chalk and leave their
less than permanent ‘marks’ on sidewalks and the driveway. They
may ‘mark’ their place while playing hopscotch, by putting a rock
down on a square.
I did not see this in the definition but do think that ‘marking time’
can be a little like ‘sitting a spell.’ It could include putting slash
‘marks’ on a piece of paper, wall or even ‘marked’ by etching into
a stone wall. The ‘marks’ in prison or concentration camps can
make me weep.
When I buy a paperback book at a garage sale or the library
book sale, I don’t ‘value’ some of them as I should. If it is one
of those ‘beach’ or summer reading books, I may ‘mark’ my
page I left off reading by bending back a corner of the page.
Are you guilty of this ‘bad habit?’
In our ‘defense,’ sometimes it is easier than getting up to
find a piece of paper or a classy bookmark.
Book ‘marks’ can be such lovely decorative gifts. I have my
favorites in my ‘good’ books, which hold or ‘mark’ a special
passage I will read and re-read again. I have a silky one,
a cross-stitched bookmark, a metal one with a pearl-like
decoration and I have one which is in the shape of a paper
clip with a butterfly on the tip.
I have marked many passages in my Bible, since I received
it upon my high school graduation. The book has ‘marks’ and
underlined places. Tucked into the pages, there are several
pieces of paper with scribbles made by my children during
One is quite funny, a ‘bunny ballerina’ by my oldest daughter
when she was 4 years old. The other is quite serious, drawn
carefully by my youngest daughter at around 8 years old of
Jesus on the Cross.
Although it is a name and therefore capitalized, I do like another
part of the Bible, which is in the New Testament which goes like
this: “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”
I have to close this multiple usages of the word, “mark”
with something I really enjoy.
I absolutely love going to a store where it has many large signs
after the ending of each season.
These all say, “Mark Down Prices.”
I like the neon yellow, neon orange and even neon green signs
found in different departments.
Now, even better than the ‘Markdowns’. . .
are the ‘Slashing Prices!’