My tattoo from January, it reads
“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
When I was 8 I moved from Washington D.C. to California and drove across the country in 2 weeks with my parents. I was so afraid that as we travelled from state to state I would become less and less “me,” so I spent the entire two weeks trying to catch my reflection in every possible place I could to see that I hadn’t changed. When I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close I was immediately reminded of this and saw a little bit of myself in Oskar Schell. Now as a 23 year old college graduate, I aim to wander around the world for awhile, but this tattoo is my reminder that I am still me, no matter where I am or who I’m with.
"I shook my tambourine the whole time, because it helped me remember that even though I was going through different neighborhoods, I was still me." - Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
As far back as I’ve gone, I have yet to see a Flannery O’Connor tattoo so here’s mine. O’Connor raised peacocks, hence the feathers. The quote is from her first novel Wise Blood and it reads, “In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.”
Done at Southern Star in Atlanta, GA.
This is my 6th tattoo. I got it in memory of my 4 great grandmothers. I grew up with all 4 of them and they all died within a year of each other (when i was 22).
The sparrows always return to the same location when the migrate. In addition, once they find a mate they always keep them. As a maritime/sailing tradition it symbolizes that no matter how far a sailor travels, they will return home and be faithful.
This tattoo is by Wes Schulz at DreamsCollide in Lancaster, PA
In fact, I’ve had several possibilities picked out.
And then yesterday I realized none of them were right any more. I didn’t need them in the way I had before.
So I guess the question is, what do I need now?
This is my fifth tattoo and it was done by Tony at Greg’s Tattooing in Wheeling, West Virginia. It’s a quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (S05E22), a show that has inspired me since I was a kid and helped me through the good and bad times in my life. Buffy said this to her sister before she saved the world and died, in the hopes that her sister would be able to keep living even through her death just months after their mother died. It’s a reminder to always be strong, to always live, even when it feels like the world is ending.