This tattoo belongs to Cindy.
I like that this line means both that I carry within me the impressions of all experiences, and that I leave traces of me whenever I go. These 4 lines remind me that experience is limitless, and that we are meant to move forever forward.
Tattoo done by Os of Cottage 13 in Hamilton, Ontario.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
- Excerpt from Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson
This belongs to Nate from Seattle.
My tattoo is a lyric from the song In the Red, by Tina Dico. She is an incredible singer songwriter from Denmark, and I'm an avid fan. More importantly, I think this lyric captures what we all experience in love.
Love is a thousand shades of grey - and we know
There's not a safe or certain way to go
But when we've seen all, uneasiness and hate, it will show
That it all means nothing, it all means nothing, it all means nothing at all, at all
- Excerpt from In the Red by Tina Dico
This belongs to A.M. Wells.
My tattoo is a line from the poem Antilamentation by Dorianne Laux. When I first read the poem I was struck immediately by how beautiful it was. To me it spoke of how we shape our lives and how we are in return shaped by the lives we live. It encourages us not to regret pain or mistakes because everything passes eventually and we emerge better prepared for the beauty. We know ourselves more truly.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the window.
Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied of expectation.
Relax. Don't bother remembering any of it. Let's stop here,
under the lit sign on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
- Excerpt from Antilamentation by Dorianne Laux
This belongs to Francesca.
This is a tattoo made by a friend of mine, on my left side. It is from The Smiths song, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. It is dedicated to a friend of mine, who died of anorexia. Just before dying she wrote me a letter which ended with this sentence.
This belongs to Laina.
It translates to the saying "You never know".
"On ne sait jamais."
This is Ella who lives in Israel.
I read "Brideshead Revisited" by Evelyn Waugh when I was fifteen, for the first time, and I remember thinking that it was an incredibly melancholy book. When I was eighteen, I was drafted, and then, one night in guard duty, I read it again and was charmed. After I was honourably discharged, I had this line tattooed, as the line that haunted me through many sunrises and sunsets.
In the beginning, there is a lovely scene of youthful languor, before the characters' lives fall apart in their hands, and one turns to the other and wonders: "If it could only be like this always--always summer, always alone, fruit always ripe..."
But of course, it can't always be summer, and we can't always be alone, and the fruit will rot and a tree will sprout in its place, and you cannot stop time. But you can immortalize it in ink :)
This belongs to Deb.
I just finished my undergraduate degrees, and decided to get something to remind me that things are not always in my control.
This belongs to mleisrad.
I had this famous line tattooed onto my ankle four years after my grandfather died. One week prior to his death, I read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. These two events marked a significant point in my life where I gained a new perspective on life, death and loss.
In this passage, Vonnegut puts into words what I cannot.
"The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.
The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in the particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "So it goes."
This tattoo continues to helps me cope with any loss, by reminding me that everything is forever; what may not be seen is still there.
This belongs to Jamie.
It's done in my handwriting. I got it to remind myself that sometimes shit falls apart. It happens. Everything can hit the fan and tear my life to shreds; it's happened before and it will again and I have no control over it. Like the Tralfamadorians say, it simply is. But I can handle it. I always have. So it Goes.
This was posted as a part of “So it Goes” Saturdays. The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 106 times. Can you help me collect 106 “so it goes” tattoos? 59 down, 47 to go.