This is sort of old news now, as it's been a week and almost everyone has seen it, whether on Facebook or in person. But I wanted to talk about WHY I wanted it and WHAT it means to me.
I think tattoos are cool. Sometimes people get images in places on their bodies and I think "Ew. That was not a good decision." But mostly I think tattoos are a fun way to express yourself. We have these huge blank canvasses (some more huge than others), and it think inking something permanently into your skin is a way to tell people a vital piece of information about yourself before even opening your mouth. I love how tattoos promote questions and discussion. I love learning about why a person valued a quote or a word or a name or an owl or a mushroom enough to display it on their skin.
My tattoo reads: Mere words! Was there anything so real as words? It's the tail end of a quote from Oscar Wilde's one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray:
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give plastic form to formless things, and have a music of their own as sweet as that of a viol or a lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?I believe in context that Wilde is actually being satirical here, but out of context of the novel (which I didn't actually finish reading...), I think this sums up perfectly what I was trying to say in my last blog post.Words have this power to give shape to a feeling or a memory. Without words, how could anyone understand how we feel? how much someone means to us? how hurt we are? how that sunset resonated with us? how much joy that memory brings? the overwhelming finality of losing a loved one?
Without words, how would we ever know?
This quote is also quite special to me because I read Oscar Wilde in the last semester of my BA in a class with one of my favourite profs, Dr. Jen Lokash. My undergrad was such a great time in my life and in my last semester I really felt like I had come to the end of something quite important. My time at MUN in the English department really helped hone my skills and gave me an outlet to write, read, and discuss. It made me realize that there is really nothing that brings me more personal satisfaction than words.
I love my tattoo! I love that it looks like it was handwritten quickly. I also love that I got a tattoo at the same time as my dear friend Karen got hers, and that we can say we got our first tattoos together. Mike at St. John's Ink did mine and Karen's tattoo, and he was really great. It's not completely healed yet, so it's still a little scabbed over, but I still looks awesome. I am 100% glad I did it!