Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thinking about Inking

So I've been entertaining the idea of my next tattoo practically the day after I got my first one (left, please excuse my workout ball).

As many of you will recognize, that is the symbol for infinity. No, I'm not a mathematical whiz and enjoy the symbol for its numerical representation. I'm more interested and inspired by the philosophical and literary concept of infinity.

My own reason for getting this tattoo was to utilize it as a reminder. A reminder that warns of momentary happiness and how in that very moment, sadness lurks. It's a reminder that infinity is cyclical and unbounded, that no happy thing or moment will last and in a way that realization is daunting, which helps me try to stay grounded and rational in my life's choices. Infinity for me is a place, a location, and not a space of time. It's the idea that happiness lasting forever is impossible and vice-versa with sadness, it's a double edged sword.

I've been staring at my lone tattoo a lot lately, realizing that it's taken on multiple meanings for me now and I'm ready for an addition or extension to this tattoo. I've already selected a location for my tattoo number two, and that's on the nape of my neck.

I think next to the collarbone, the nape of the neck is the sexiest part of a woman's body, one that is also less noticed and appreciated. I've thought about getting a tattoo on my collarbone but ultimately decided that I might regret it because it's a location I admire on myself often and would somehow view it as tainted.

So I began to do research on the nape of the neck and discovered that the etymology of the word "nape" is unknown. Okay, I'm not sure if I'm the only one who does this but I constantly look up etymologies of words and this is one of the first words I've come across that has no distinct origin. I loved it immediately because the symbol for infinity has no definite origin as well so already there is a connection to my first tattoo.

But for quite some time I've been wanting to get a tattoo of some powerful words by Sappho. It's a quote that I've come across time and time again over the past several years that moves me, stirs me to core, as an individual and as a writer.

May I write words more naked than flesh,
stronger than bone, more resilient than
sinew, sensitive than nerve.

Now of course that's a lot of text and to imagine that transformed as a tattoo would be painful, expensive and would take up a large part of my body. So for the time being, I'm going to pass on that idea, however I'm thinking if I do get this tattoo it might just be the first line.

Another idea that I've been researching is the notion of the sublime. Sublime and infinity go hand in hand and share that same concept of being simply unattainable. I'm not going to go into it any further because this blog entry will never end, no pun intended.

But that's where I stand right now in terms of my next ink. I just ordered A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful by Edmund Burke from Amazon to read a little more about this parallel and let me tell you, I'm really anxious to learn as much about this as I can.

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