[tw: manic depression & mention of self injury]
Without wanting to sound like a cliche, here’s a little background to my ink: I got it when I was 18 in order to celebrate the positive choices I was making in my life. I have Manic Depression (Bipolar) and the onset of it began when I was around 14/15. With it came the crippling bouts of suicide ideation, mixed episodes, self harm, substance abuse, and of course, low self worth. I’m finally in a place where I can say I’m on the road to recovery, making positive decisions and attempting to stay healthy in both body and mind. I’m medicated, able to allow myself the happiness I find in some days and work through the bad days. It’s an ongoing struggle not many can relate to and this quote is from a poem I love that helped me through the dark phases.
'A Lighthouse of Words', by Charles Bukowski.
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
From “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg
I got this book-stack tattoo a few months ago - I was going to get pages added so it’s a bit more obvious but actually, I really like it as it is.
I plan on getting a Harry Potter tattoo and a Series of Unfortunate Events one as well, so I’ll submit those whenever I get them done!
my tattoo of the runes that Gandalf carves into Bilbo’s door at the start of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (as seen in an illustration from J.R.R. Tolkein: Artist and Illustrator by Hammond and Scull).
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
This Moby Dick inspired tattoo was designed entirely by Nik Moore of Scarab Body Arts, and I love it more and more every day.
My friend and I got this tattooed yesterday. It’s from L’ignorance, a book by Czech/French writer Milan Kundera.
The book was written in French and there is a chapter in which the narrator is disserting about nostalgia and how it is expressed in different languages. For him, this would be the most beautiful sentence possible about love, in the czech language, because it perfectly expresses how one can feel nostalgic about someone, how one can’t even withstand the pain of being away from their soulmate.
It was tattooed on us by the amazing Crystal Balser at MOD Tattoo inside Wicked Wanda’s in Ottawa, Ontario.
When the oppressed take up arms in the name of justice, they take a step toward injustice.
"Mañana", she said.
“Everything’ll be all right tomorrow, don’t you think, Sal-honey, man?”
“Sure, baby, mañana.” It was always mañana. For the next week that was all I heard - mañana, a lovely word and one that probably means heaven.
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
My little sister and I got these matching Edward Gorey tattoos of the children from the title page of The Vinegar Works. Our father was an illustrator and book lover and Edward Gorey’s illustrations and whimsical, macabre stories were some of his favorites, so we grew up with them. The Vinegar Works also contains “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” and one day we’ll add the unfortunate children who share our initials to our collection of Gorey tattoos.
For Esme, With Love and Squalor. From J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories.
These are my quotation mark tattoos that I got two years ago when I was seventeen. I’ve been writing fiction since I was ten, and now I’m an English major at Boston University. I’ve been working on my first novel for the past three years. (Also my rose tattoo, for my sisters)
From Still Life with Woodpecker:
'Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.'