Now that my half-sleeve is almost complete, I wanted to share it and the story behind it.
I’ve been reading obsessively since I was about 3-years-old, and I’ve been collecting quotes for as long as I can remember. I always have a hard time explaining myself and especially my feelings, it’s hard for me to find my own words, so I’ve been using other people’s words (i.e. quotes). About 4-5 years ago I had this idea for a full-sleeve tattoo. I wanted to turn my arm into a page from a book. There would be paragraphs, and little sketches and notes. It would look like a page from a second hand (note)book. This idea evolved over the years and about 7 months ago I finally got started.
The sentences in these paragraphs are all quoted from different people, and I created this collage myself. My own holy scripture. (“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Here is the full text:
From the stories I expected the world to be sad, and it was. And I expected it to be wonderful. It was. Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it. Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known. If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. I don’t know what’s waiting for us, but I hope one day we’re ready for it.
I am in the middle of growing up and into myself. I have immortal longings in me. Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I am not living. He said it’s all in your head, and I said, so’s everything - but he didn’t get it. If life were as simple as one-line poetry, black coffee, pressing flowers between the pages; I might find it easier to breathe. Sometimes my hands shake, but it’s okay because sometimes the whole Earth does too. I’d rather die terrified than live forever. If the universe, Big Bang and black holes and all, still dares to dream, then so will I. But not all dark places need light, I have to remember that. Mistakes aren’t always regrets. Sanity is a cozy lie. There’s beauty in the breakdown.
There will be two more paragraphs, I’m almost done with the final one, but not the third. It’s still a work in progress, but I know what the last line is going to be: "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple."
I have a coffee cup stain around my shoulder, the Deathly Hallows symbol between the first two paragraphs, and the silhoutte of Night Vale around my arm. I will be getting 3 maybe 4 more things and then my half-sleeve will be complete. Then there will be a few touch-ups.
These quotes are from: Randall Munroe (XKCD), Claude Monet, Carl Sagan, Kurt Vonnegut, Ashli Wood, Sabrina Ward Harrison, William Shakespeare, Jonathan Safran Foer, Brian Andreas (StoryPeople), Tired Foxes, Jenna, Joey Comeau (A Softer World) (x2), Fernanda, Jeanette Winterson, Susan Sontag, Imogen Heap.
Artist: Cansu Olga - Adana/ TURKEY