From Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison: “If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”
It cuts both ways: me
you now call a dreamer, you
who once were the dream.
-Richard Hillyer, Disillusionment
As far as I know, this poem is unpublished. The author was my college Shakespeare professor. He was a friend, a mentor, an inspiration, and the greatest unrequited love of my life. I wanted my first (and possibly only) literary tattoo to be a rare and intensely personal event. These words are poignant, and I’m proud to forever have them close to my heart.
My best friend the Leela Cat left me last July. While she lay dying, I read her a chapter from The Little Prince - the one about the fox and taming. That’s where this quote is from. She tamed me in every sense of the word, and I’ll love her forever.
To me, she was unique in all the world.
My favorite quote from Joe Orton. Written in his diaries. Maybe a reminder to himself. It serves as a daily reminder to me.
Inspired by the commencement speech delivered by David Foster Wallace to Kenyan College Graduates in 2005. Very simple, but challenging philosophy.
My second tattoo from the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. ”I’m OK”, one of my favourite parts of the book.
Apártense vacas que la vida es corta
(Cease, cows life is short),
Cien años de soledad/One hundred years of solitude
Gabriel garcía Marquez
I wanted a literary tattoo, but couldn’t settle on the right words. At the Northwoods Writers Conference in Bemidji, MN finally heard the words. From the Emily Dickinson poem, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” I couldn’t agree more with this line.
[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