Leaving My “Mark”

I went through a rough patch a bit ago trying to understand why people I was having the privilege of crossing paths with were making the choices they were. Their lives contained so much to live for and so many tender mercies dangling in front of them like carrots, urging them to put one foot in front of the other. At least that was my view of their life – standing with my nose smashed against their window, hands cupped around my eyes, fooling myself into thinking I was viewing the whole picture. Obviously I wasn’t and it bothered me. Then, I got an image in my head (I’m totally a visual learner) and it helped me kind of grasp what was going on.

Something from the outside (we all have our own idea of what the ‘outside’ is) had interrupted them while they were reading their Book and they hadn’t used a Bookmark when they’d set the Book aside! So simple in my little
brain.

And I got to thinking. No one has enough Bookmarks!

In fact, I’ve since decided you can’t have too many Bookmarks. Those small inconsequential bits of paper reminding us of our place in the Book. They are in that awesome group of “Markers”; often taken for granted
but vitally essential. Some of these Markers are Landmarks, Postmarks and Bookmarks. Landmarks help you figure out where you are (so you can either find that place again or NOT find it again, depending). Postmarks validate where you’ve been and identify the direction you are headed.

But Bookmarks.

Well, Bookmarks are kind of a combination of all three. By showing you where you are, they remind you where you’ve been, how far you’ve come and serve as a jumping off point for where you should now be going.

Holding our Book in our hands, it’s all too easy to look at all the pages combined and feel inadequate, realizing we’re closer to the front cover than the back cover. Or maybe I’m a slow reader, scrutinizing over words that come easy for you, slowing my progress and therefore paling in comparison to you. Or perhaps the plot thickens
unexpectedly and the act of reading becomes burdensome as we try to absorb all that is happening. Does your book have words between the lines – real or imaginary – causing such discouragement that the Book is set aside for a time? When you pick it up again, though, isn’t it a pleasant surprise to have that half of a chocolate bar wrapper sticking out ever so timidly, gently reminding you of how far you made it before setting it down?

Wow! I don’t have to start clear back at the prologue! And the story comes back quickly once it’s picked up again!

I never realized just how important that little marker is – or how unique, or unusual it is that I am lucky enough to have a Bookmark (several even). Whatever my Bookmark happens to be at this moment – a sincere smile, a pat on the back, a belief system, grandchildren laughing, a friend’s phone call, a blooming flower, a butterfly – I express gratitude that I am blessed with Bookmarks.

And since realizing this, I have tried to give out more Bookmarks to others. Hoping that maybe it can serve as a starting up point to replace feelings of being overwhelmed or helpless at the thoughts of possibly having to start over.

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