I recently bought and used hooks to hang the various workout bands in my personal “gym.” I tried out Command Strips(no I don’t get any money for saying this) which are designed to be removed without leaving a mark on the wall. They are touted as leaving no trace. I haven’t had to remove them so far, so I can’t vouch for their ability, but it did make me think about the idea of not leaving a mark.
People love to leave their marks. Bathroom walls fill with phone numbers, slang comments, jokes and initials. Lovers carve their initials on trees. Soldiers couldn’t resist leaving “Kilroy was here.” I recently saw a film about the Vikings which showed graffiti left by a soldier hundreds of years ago etched into a stone railing.
Throughout my school years, we were handed textbooks in the fall which we handed back before summer vacation. We wrote our names in the front plate and laughed about who had used the books in previous years. We signed each others’ yearbooks and autograph books. Over and again we were determined to leave our mark, signifying that we were there.
When we had to replace our bathtub, we found that the chestnut beams supporting the tub had pencil marks from the carpenter as he built the house in 1929. He died the next year, ice fishing down the road, but his mark remained, hidden for us to find 85 years later. And I did pause and think of him, realizing he too once lived in the house we now think of as ours.