It is 1971 and Joni Mitchell dares to compare love to a tattoo. At that time tattoos were not as prevalent as they are today, as accepted or common place, so her comparison is a bit shocking. She likens both to “ an empty space to fill in”. In the song Blue, she uses words of imagery and color to remind is that love leaves its mark on our lives in strange ways.
My maternal grandmother was a creative women. She had a ‘shed’ in her backyard where she did all sorts of creative and fun things. I have pleasant memories of doing things with her in that space and not being judged or criticized. I say that as she was also a very cruel, and controlling woman who used fear, intimidation and power to get what she wanted. As a child I experienced that side of her as well, not fully understanding what was actually going on or why. As an adult I put the pieces together and now choose to be marked by her creative love not her cruel intentions.
I had a beloved grade school teacher who was kind, funny and recognized a struggle I was having in class. I remember her keeping me after school to sit with me to ‘see’ what I was doing. Once she saw my simple mistake she showed me the error in my ways; that changed everything for me. I leaped beyond The rest of my class and soared through school for the remainder of my days. I was marked by her love of teaching, patience and her willingness to go above and beyond in helping her students thrive.
We all have these types of encounters in our lives. People who have marked our lives with their love. They filled the empty space inside us by pouring themselves into the activity or interaction. They were not perfect people, they were not saints or Nobel Prize winning leaders. They were common, everyday people who loved us at that moment and provided what we needed to move to the next step. Maybe today is the day you do the same for someone else. Be it a simple interaction or a commitment to that weekly encounter that marks their life with love and friendship. Let today be the day you leave your mark, fill their empty space and change their world for the better.