;

When you spend roughly a full 48 hours round-trip on a bus to & from a festival, you share in the highs & the lows with the people seated around you.

Travel can suck…but it can also be awesome. We had DJs who brought their own speaker/amp on the bus.  It did not suck.

And as we were all headed to the same destination to share in the same experience, we were all in pretty high spirits, despite a couple minor delays (once on the way there and once on the way back) due to a popped tire.  Partied hard on that bus, I say. I met some incredibly cool & like-minded folks in my section of the vehicle.

We spoke in rousing tones of which sets we were most looking forward to, who we had seen before, what to expect once inside.  At one point I glanced over and happened to notice a tattoo on the wrist of the girl I was chatting with.  “Hey, I really like that.” “Thanks!” Just a fleeting moment, but it stuck with me: she had in black ink…a semicolon.  Just a singular punctuation mark.  As a writer I would have to say the semicolon is probably my second-favorite mark (behind, of course, the mighty &).

I didn’t think to ask any more about it, and forgot entirely that I had seen it until I was browsing my media feed when I woke up the other morning:

Global Semicolon Tattoo Trend Is A Sign Of Strength Among Faithful Individuals Dealing With Mental Health Problems

Jarred my memory instantly.  Its beauty is its brevity: “a semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life;” . . . .

Project Semicolon describes itself as “a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury.”

As with A.A. I find myself wary whenever I encounter the phrase “faith-based”…but again, as with A.A., that part does not have to apply to me.  I relate to what the underlying message is, and can certainly appreciate how important it is to share & support that message.

Plus, I write.  I can’t say that I would go as far as to etch one onto my body (at this juncture), but what I did do was contact my Forest Friend immediately and offered my new-found insight to her important symbol.

She was expressly appreciative I shared my understanding & my history with her.  Compassion, empathy, love, music: these are the things that my world revolves around.

———

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