Three very distinct tattoos from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
This is Jude’s tattoo.
It is an anatomically correct heart with the words “I am. I am. I am.” pumping out. each “I am” is slightly bigger the the previous to symbolize the beating effect of the words at described in the book, The Bell Jar.
The words ” I am” can have any meaning, but the way I perceived such strong words were ” I am Here. I am Alive. I am Okay.”
This is Emma’s tattoo.
For me the quote means a lot and speaks a great deal to a very difficult time I recently went through when I was required to really look closely at who I am and who I want to be. I love the definitive-ness of the idea. We are. Period. We exist and that means something. But the provisional nature of it is intriguing as well. Finish the phrase….I am….what? A mother? Flawed? Content with my life. You name it. There are lots of other elements to the piece that are all symbolic to me but not necessarily in a “literary” way.
The tattoo was done by the inimitable Alice Kendall at Infinity Tattoo in Portland, OR.
This one belongs to Maria Jose Montero.
For me it’s like a mantra, so I don’t forget that I am alive, I exist and I am me.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”
– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar