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Ink remains indelible in all its forms


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POSTED: Thursday, May 07, 2009

“;Ink”; today means so many different things. Recently, I heard my son's friend say, “;Hey I heard you got some ink, what's it look like?”;

I stopped for a moment, wondering what the latest pen was like that my son had picked up at Longs Drugs, then I remembered; ink for my son and his friend meant a tattoo.

I began to think about ink and all the meanings I gave it. For me, it means a piece of writing on paper that couldn't be erased. The ink is indelible.

Then I remembered seeing erasable ink pens and other numerous products that could remove ink from clothes or other materials in some unwanted manner. There was also the ink of our lives, our history.

There are thousands of stories penned by individuals whose histories have become significant. Why do they matter? Because we learn from those who have come before us, be it fiction or nonfiction. We use the lessons of yesterday to create benchmarks for a better tomorrow.

The history of “;ink”; itself can be linked as far back as 5,000 years ago. It was developed in China and used for blacking the raised surfaces of pictures and texts carved in stone. The practice of tattooing has been around since the last part of the Stone Age.

Communication today has gone from ink to Internet, hmmm. Ink most often shows up looking like typed words on my Apple computer screen on sites such as CNN news, Facebook, my e-mail, my banking and bill-paying services, eBay, Amazon, or my own Web site http://www.benefitofthex.net, and so on.

I have asked myself when I check in with Facebook, how important is all this and why does it feel addictive? I can only imagine how many hours it would eat up if I added it to my iPhone! And speaking of phones, wasn't the phone created for communication too? So what is it about communication that is so important? In the long run, what is it most of us want in life? It is likely to be acknowledged, to be accepted, to be loved, to be wanted, to be heard and to make a difference. To do, be and have all this, we must communicate in some form or fashion. Of course, I have discovered when I don't write back or return a call, I am also communicating.

I use Internet ink to express what's on my mind in hope of making a difference on the planet. One thing I know is that life is like writing a message in the sand ... the wind will eventually change direction and messages and their significance will change. Someone else will come along and write a new story. As for permanent ink, the kind that cannot be removed, my tattoo is for life, my son's signature upon on my right inside wrist.

Ink. What does it mean to you and what is the story it would tell?