(th)inking

For many years now, I’ve thought about getting a tattoo. Mostly not seriously, but sometimes more seriously. Indecision about what to get and whether I really wanted it has always held me back.

At one point I was interested in “invisible” tattoos that glow under blacklight. I like the symbolism inherent in a hidden thing that only reveals itself under certain circumstances. The downside of those is that they’re not really “invisible” because the scars still show, apparently.

When my spouse did the cool pyrography design for my modular case, I thought the central element of it, inverted, would make a pretty cool tattoo design. It’s got a star of course (gotta have that), and spirals that are somewhat reminiscent of both wind and my spouse’s own tattoo. It bears some coincidental similarity to the “Sesa Wo Suban” symbol which apparently means “transform your character,” and also to symbols for “void” in various fictional settings.

I’ve got some other thoughts about symbols that are personally meaningful that would work for a tattoo. I doubt I should cram all of them into a single design, though. (And once again I shake a metaphorical fist at Starbucks for ruining any combination of mermaid and star I might have otherwise run with…)

The reason I’m thinking of this now is I’m reading Becky Chambers’ A Closed and Common Orbit, wherein one of the main characters has a fascinating conversation with a tattoo artist. What resonates with her — and with me! — is the idea of a tattoo as unifying mind and body. Turning a mental image into a physical one; exercising some control over a thing that doesn’t always cooperate with our mental images.

And then coincidentally, someone on the Lines forum started a thread about tattoos (from artists’ perspective). And I overheard someone at lunch talking about getting a tattoo, too. Bauder-Meinhof phenomenon or not, I was paying attention.

Of course, the most likely outcome is I’ll think about symbols for a few days and then not make any decision about a tattoo. You never know, though…

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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