I discovered the Semicolon Project when I saw a wrist tattoo…of a semicolon. Being a grammar nerd/English teacher, it popped out at me. It’s not about your mama’s grammar, though, it’s about the notion that writers use semicolons to indicate that their sentence isn’t yet finished; there’s more to come.
You can google the Semicolon Project…it explains the metaphor idea as one of hope and continuation. The website says: drawing a “Semicolon” on your wrist can act as a constant reminder and prevention strategy to help you come to your recovery, after all, you are the author of your life and you should choose not to end it.
How dazzling, how simple, how profound is this notion of the semicolon as a symbol of hope, as a promise of unfinished living, as shorthand for” I have more to say, to do, to be”.
My daughter sabotaged her most recent in-patient attempt that I mentioned in Beware the Walrus, after suffering through detox, again. It’s more the norm than not – we have missed her presence for so long, having only brief reunions with the girl she was, the woman I suspect she is trying to be. She,too, has missed much- her twenties, the transitions her dear friends and family have made, the holidays, the regular days, the highs and lows, the love of her life, the dog, the cat, her baby niece, her nephews, her own coming-of-age.
For me, there’s always an empty space, always something missing, including every mother-daughter connection we had – clothes, food, gossip, trash TV, inside jokes, pet peeves, eye rolls, raucous laughing – the love and sharing that were the essence of our singular, unique, one-of-a-kind, impossible to replace bond that I took for granted would always be there, every day of my life. It’s so hard to believe that I’m ten years older than the last time she really knew me, or I her…since she looked long into the abyss, and the bastard looked back.
This simple, but oh so powerful mark is my reminder now, on my wrist, in my heart. She is still here in my everyday thoughts and hopes, still within reach, and I can wait until she decides to continue her story.