In case you didn’t know, this past Tuesday, September 15 was International Dot Day. I know, I know. You were completely unaware that something like that even existed. When I first heard about it at the elementary school’s PTA meeting last week, I’ll admit that I cringed and thought- seriously? But it turned out to be more than rummaging through your closet for your cutest polka dot outfit. So much more.
The Dot was written by Peter H. Reynolds. It is about a girl named Vashti who doesn’t believe she can draw. Her teacher tells her “to make a mark and see where it takes you.” Inspired and encouraged by that teacher, she realizes that she can be so much more and that she is an artist.
On International Dot Day, in C’s class, each child spent time creating their very own dots. The class blog has entries written by students who explain how they are making their own marks on the world. In I’s class, in addition to many creating dot drawings they also talked about different artists, art movements and cultures that use dots as a way of mark making. Roy Lichtenstein and Pop Art. Georges Seurat and Pointillism. I had never thought about dots in that way. Yes, it’s true, one dot by itself is just a dot. But many dots together is really something. The overarching question boils down to this- HOW WILL YOU MAKE YOUR MARK?
As you get older, you spend more time thinking about this question. I know, I certainly have. Your time on this earth now seems limited, before when you were young, it felt limitless. What will my legacy be, what will my loved ones remember about me? What is my mark? I think it’s one of the reasons I enjoy telling stories to my kids, my nieces, nephews, the next generation. My stories. Our family’s stories. Little bits of life, advice, a way of looking at the world that is different than their own in a different period of time. Each story has a life lesson and I am imparting these life lessons to them. They cannot fathom a world without computers, the internet, cell phones, video games and apps. But the fact remains. I experienced a childhood without those things. They need to know that a different world existed once upon a time, not too long ago and it was good.
I don’t think you make your mark with one big A-HA moment or thing. I think you make your mark, your dot, if you will, by how you live your life every single day you are here on earth. Your life and mark is made up of those million little dots that add up to the ONE BIG DOT. Like Pointillism. Like Lichtenstein’s pieces of art. It’s such a refreshing way to look at your life and your legacy. I don’t know about you, but it’s a load off my shoulders. I can just be free to feed my soul. And fill my life with what I choose to. And every day add to the million little dots that will one day make up my life’s story.