INK PROSE - quotes that deserve real estate
I have zero tattoos. Which is ironic given that I have decided to write an entire category of blog posts devoted to the idea of adding ink to one's body as a way to honour remarkable words.
I have zero tattoos for one overwhelming reason. It is not fear of needles, concern over possible judgement, lack of inspiration or financial means. Heck, I even have an insanely talented tattoo artist in the family, who would likely offer his services for free. (Check out Ben Ryan at theberlintattoo.com if you are more decisive than me.)
My problem and this unfortunately extends beyond ink- is debilitating indecisiveness. Anyone who knows me, or has stood behind me in an ice cream store line or waited for me to choose a Netflix movie, knows what I speak of. And unfortunately, this is not a new problem.
Let's travel back to back to my 18th birthday. Next to turning 19, this was a pinnacle age. We could now vote, play bingo with the old folks and, most importantly, mark ourselves. The local tattoo shop welcomed many a bold 18 year old from community. Butterflies representing freedom, Chinese symbols for their strengths and the occasional quote found early real estate among my friends.
I, on the other hand needed to research the perfect words to summarize who I was and planned to be before I could enter the same room as the ink. And that required extensive reading and/or procrastination and/or indecision - depending on how you looked at it. At that time, I was give a book by the famous American philosopher Robert Fulghum, called "Words I Wish I Wrote". And no, most teens were not reading philosophical texts at 18, but I was destined for a special level of literary geekness and valor. Within this treasure trove of inspiring words I thought I might find my perfect quote. But the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, from her work Letters to a Young Poet, ruined me for finding my perfect tattoo.
"...have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer some distant day."
- Rainer Maria Rilke
I was ruined at 18 and still find myself searching today for the answers that I have only begun to ask questions about. And so, each time I think I have found my perfect ink prose I wait on it. I read a little more. I experience a little more. Become a little bit more confused. And ultimately decide to not decide. As you can see, I need help.
What answers have you already found? Did they make real estate on you? If not on your skin, perhaps in some other way? Send me your favourite quotes and why it deserves an eternal mark? Who knows. Maybe you'll make an argument, that even my indecision can't ignore.