I was reading a Facebook message sent to the Tile Park the other day; a woman was telling us that she has a tile in the Park, and she loves to go and just put her hand on it. Touch it. She got the tile in remembrance of her daughter, and she loves knowing it’s there.
My first thought was, “aw, it’s her touchstone”.
My understanding of a touchstone has always been that it acts something like a “totem”. A small, usually pocketable object that means a whole lot to one person. Like a souvenir of your life, it can be used to bring you back to the here and now, to conjure good thoughts or memories. A grounding device, a touchstone could be described as an anchor of sorts. Touch it, and you’re there. Wherever “there” is for you.
Here is Webster’s definition:
touch·stone | \ ˈtəch-ˌstōn\
1: a fundamental or quintessential part or feature. Ex: “A touchstone film of the decade”
I love this. The example sentence really got me thinking: the woman I mentioned isn’t the only one with a touchstone in the Park, hundreds of other people have one too. They all love to come and touch their tile, feel their heart settle as the anchoring effect takes hold.
When I saw this definition it occurred to me that the Tile Park is filled with touchstones, and that makes it a touchstone in and of itself. It’s a touchstone for a whole community. Each individual custom tile is someone’s quintessential part or feature of the Park, and when put together they form one giant fundamental anchor, a park full of touchstones for an entire town. Vallarta’s very own touchstone.
Maybe one day it’ll even be the “touchstone park of the decade”, who knows.