Max leaves many types of marks. There’s the obvious kind he does outside, but we’ll keep this post clean (Though I have to say that lately he has become more of a master in saving up marking material to spread as far and wide as possible…).
The more pervasive mark he leaves is his hair. And it is everywhere. Ev-er-y-where. Clothes, cereal, you name it – if it comes in a 20 foot radius of my apartment or me, it will have the tell tale white hairs on it soon.
In fact, that’s become the first thing people notice about me, especially if I’m wearing dark clothing. “So, you have a dog?” (with that knowing smirk). Or, “I see you brought your dog with you…”
But that’s helped me realize we are all marked and we all leave marks.
We are marked in the sense that the actions of those around us colors our life. We can neither escape, nor ignore this. We are inescapably interconnected with everyone around us. And that is wonderful in most cases, because we can learn so much from the impact of others and altogether our marks on each other and this world can paint a fantastic picture.
Of course, there are also the bad marks left upon us. And even if we paint over them, they are still there. But we can move on from those, seeking the good marks and knowing that our reactions will leave marks of their own.
Because we all leave marks. Everywhere we go. Ev-er-y-where. What we do and what we say has an impact. And oftentimes it is indirect. We do something that leaves a mark on someone and then that person leaves the mark on someone else, etc.
These marks can be bad (like a pee stain on the carpet or shredded bits of toys strewn about) or good (like a sweet loving lick across the face).
In dealing with Max’s many marks, I have also realized that I hope the marks I leave are not those that someone will have to come around and clean up after me. I hope the marks I leave are those that contribute to the crazy beauty of the world. Whether they be silly or sincere, I hope my marks make a positive difference – like this woman and countless other teachers, parents, etc.
I want to intentionally leave licks on faces rather than carelessly spread around pee stains or annoying wads of hair.
Though I can be harsh with Max concerning his mark leaving, I must admit that the vast majority of marks he has already left on my life are positive. He has left marks of devotion, joyful companionship, playfulness, caring presence, love and many other things that will undoubtedly resurface throughout this blog.
These are not really outwardly visible marks, but that is perhaps the most important thing Max has taught me about leaving marks – the most meaningful and profound marks are those we can’t see – those marks that are inscribed on our hearts and etched in our very being.
So thank you Max, for leaving your mark – for touching my life in the most beautiful way and in so doing, coloring my heart to be more loving. And thank you for teaching me to be more mindful of the marks I leave all around me.