Nashville, Tennessee (2014) - We humans have such an innate drive to share stories that we’ll do just about anything to leave our mark. Perhaps it gives us a sense of permanence to let people know that “I was here, and I mattered.” It’s why the wealthy have their names put on buildings, why countries build monuments to the fallen, and why lovers scratch their names into the bark of trees.
However fleeting, this form of storytelling has been with us since the very beginning of civilization. Archeologists have found graffiti on ancient Roman ruins dating to the B.C.’s. And by the looks of things, these initials date back to 1977. I was surprised to find them on a quiet walk through the Appalachian hills of Tennessee during a hazy Spring morning. Although seeing them disturbed my sense of isolation, the scribblers had accomplished their goal – I knew that at one time, they were here.