Monday, November 9, 2009

Good Enough To Read Every Day

As something as a commitment-phobe (what's up three addresses in one year?!) tattoos scare me in a way usually reserved for Asian horror movies. When I think about the tattoos I would have wanted at 19, I am endlessly thankful that I didn't have any money left after thrifting to spend on body art. Because the world really doesn't need another girl with wings on her shoulders.

But what about quotes as tattoos? I like the idea of having something meaningful and inspiring etched into my body for the rest of my life, something that I can reference at when I'm struggling with a tough decision. Aren't these lovely?

Fantastic! Isn't this font gorgeous?


What if you got this instead/in addition to a wedding band?
I just hope that's not a comma I see after 'forever' ...




I love this! Wouldn't it be fun to fill this in with something
different every day?

If I ever got quote tattoos, I'd want them on the insides of my
wrists. On the right, I'd want
"I promise I shall never give up,
and that I'll die yelling and laughing."
The left?
"I want to be thoroughly used up when I die"
Would you ever get a quote tattoo?
What would it say?

54 comments

  1. I've been thinking about this a lot recently, I'm considering getting "you begin anyway" as a tattoo, but I'm not sure where yet.

    It's part of a quotation from To Kill A Mockingbird "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vixel, that's *great*! I love 'To Kill A Mockingbird' :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the arrangement and form of words and have been thinking about getting my personal motto tattooed on me somewhere (likely my other arm or at my wrist). It will say "not all who wander are lost". <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE "This is on account of my loving you forever." Did you read the story behind it? It's heartbreaking but so beautiful. I also love this one: http://4.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ksac79Imgc1qzgqhio1_400.jpg

    There are a few quotes I've wanted over the years. My favourites are Mark Twain, "Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." & Voltaire's "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

    Oh & there's this one!: http://anneelicious.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/join-the-dots1.jpg

    I love to admire tattoos but I don't think I'll ever get one myself.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm planning on getting the first line from Desiderata: "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste'
    I've loved the poem for a long time and the first lines have special meaning for me, so I'm going to take the plunge.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have a quote tattoo. See here. It's a french idiom for depression and I got it after surviving a rough 18 months that almost got the best of me. It's a reminder that I will always have this (black butterflies), but I am stronger than they are. I get a lot of compliments on it, but I don't share the meaning with everyone.

    I also like the "on account of loving you" one and want to know the backstory.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have 2 tattoos... one is the word Love on my wrist which is sort of like my personal quote because I really think it all comes down to love; loving one another, loving nature, loving a higher being... just love.
    I also have a butterfly with a cross in the middle on my foot with my favorite Bible verse under it (2 Corinthians 5:17).
    I love tattoos particularly words and quotes tattoos.
    You should go for it Sarah and get one! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've always wanted a quotation tatoo, but i too realize the significance of "on your body FOREVER." Thus, i would want a meaningful tatoo with a positive message. Unfortunately most of my favourite quotations at the moment are a tiny bit depressing haha.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Found the backstory by searching flickr (oh yes, my Googlefu is strong haha)--
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloughridge/1317771943/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have "Courage" written on my hip.

    http://i33.tinypic.com/w20v8i.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  11. ML and April,

    Those are great! You've got some guts! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I would definitely go with a quote tattoo, although I'm waiting for the moment that will tell me what it is I'm meant to have inked on my body.

    However, in a used book of WB Yeats poetry, some previous owner drew a little doodle next to "The Second Coming" that is absolutely beautiful—simple, meaningful, discreet. The moment I saw it I instantly thought "I want that tattooed on me."

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm still not *quite* ready to make the NEEDLE commitment, but I know for sure that if I am, I'm getting "near wild heaven" written along the inside of my inner arm/wrist.

    BEST SONG EVER!

    ReplyDelete
  14. i have a quote tattooed on the inside of my arm, it says 'on with the show.' just a reminder to keep going when things get tough.

    the only problem with getting words tattooed is people want to know what it says and what it means all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been working on a similar post, because I finally found something that means a lot to me that could be hidden as much as I want. I used to cringe at the sight of tattoos but I've slowly grown to love them. You're a long way from 19 (and the silly notions of the age). I vote yes... and yes :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think that when I get married, I would like to get my wedding band tattooed onto my finger - just a thin ring, or maybe just tiny words, or the date...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I want one. I've actually picked out a design for it. http://bit.ly/3CzdEs (all the way at the bottom)

    I want it on my right shoulder. Just saving up the money.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have a quote tattoo. I waited years and years for the perfect one and it ended up being one that I've loved for years and years. "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale" Hans Christian Anderson

    I love that it's uplifting and when I'm having a down day, I remember that even the bad parts make my life all the more magical.

    ReplyDelete
  19. http://www.contrariwise.org/

    I spend hours on there looking at all the inspirational tatoos. I haven't decided what I would want yet...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have "You are my sweetest downfall" from Regina Spektor's song Samson on the inside of my right arm. I got it years ago when all I had on that arm were three tiny hearts- now I have a half sleeve, but we made sure to incorporate it well so it still stands out on its own.

    A good friend of mine has only text tattoos... they're all really pretty and work great with her style.

    I'm a fan!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I actually have a quote tattoo already! Sort of. Here it is (with my other tattoo):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/declinedesigns/2946088670/in/set-72157608062069668/

    It's from Buffy & in case you can't tell (that's the only good photo I have, and it was like 2 days after it was done so it was still all swollen) it says "without passion, we'd be truly dead".

    I'm planning on being pretty covered in tattoos eventually and I want at least two other quote tattoos...I'm getting a carousel animal from American Gods with the words "only the gods are real" (but I don't know where I want it yet), & "Are you ready to be strong?" in one of my half sleeves. Which is also from Buffy. FACT: I am a huge f'n dork.

    I guess there will be some words involved in my Coraline half-sleeve (see above re: dork) but they're less quotes and just things from the book or movie promo material that I liked.

    I can't wait until I have the money to get more tattoos!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think these are great, and way better than your average tramp stamp or butterfly or what have you. One of my best friends took a Sharpie and wrote "beautiful" down her left bicep. She then went and got it tatoo'ed. It's so unique and everyone asks her about it, and I think it's a great personal reminder.

    ~ Jen

    ReplyDelete
  23. There's a livejournal community about this that I like to look at sometimes: http://community.livejournal.com/literarytattoos/

    I love quote tattoos; if I ever got a tattoo that is definitely what it would be.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I wanted a tattoo of a magpie for months, but I'm far too indecisive to have something permanent like that.
    I might just get piercings instead!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've always wanted: "Memento Mori" As a reminder that one day I will die, so I should live this day to the fullest.

    ReplyDelete
  26. ooo...I'm terrified and excited by the idea of getting a tattoo. Have you ever seen someone with a hideous tattoo and you wonder what they were thinking when they got it? That scares me! But some tattoos are really tasteful and become works of art. The other day, I saw a girl with a tiny trail of stars tattooed behind her ear. They were very small, but so cute! And you only saw the tattoo if she put her hair up or tucked her hair back. I think I would get something subtle like that if I ever obtained the courage to get a tattoo. I totally relate to your fear of committing to a tattoo.

    ReplyDelete
  27. There are so many tattoos I have wanted to get over the years, but thankful I either didn't have the money or had some sense talked into me

    The quote thing however is awesome. I recently got my first tattoo and it's the words: Love is the movement on my left wrist. It's there to remind me that no matter how down I get on myself that I need to be more loving toward myself and that when I'm feeling like the world is caving in on me there are people who love me enough to want to see me get through it, all I need to do is pick up the phone

    I'm trying to think of what to get done next and where. As lame as this is (because it's the new absolut slogan) I'm thinking of getting the words: Doing things differently leads to something exceptional - because it's true, and I need to remember that xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. You know for an actual 19 year old girl, who DID consider getting some 'wing-esque' tattoo and then decided to get a literary tattoo instead--this really hit home.

    The thing is, it didn't matter if i had the money or not because my dad forbade it. However, now, a year later, I'm glad he did--I won't ever let him know that though.

    I do really love literary tattoos though,and will eventually get one or a few. The first I think I'd like to get is: "I feel, therefore I am." To simply remind me in those times when I am completely overwhelmed with emotion, for whatever reason, that everything will be okay, and it only means that I am absolutely and unconditionally human.

    I absolutely adore your blog by they way. Incredibly inspiring and I can definitely relate.

    ReplyDelete
  29. i have one on my inside left wrist that says "there is no smooth way from the earth to the stars" and has three little stars around it (one each for my brothers and me)

    everytime i get discouraged, i look down and am reminded that everything good in life takes effort : )

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm planning to get my first tattoo--a quote, of course!--within the next few years (or maybe months, who knows?). I love the idea of a text tattoo because I love words and I feel connected to them as a writer. I was thinking of getting "Let me listen to me" on my forearm but I'm still on the fence. Some wonderful ideas are popping up in your comments section--I've teared up reading a few of them! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Remember Mad Libs? I'd totally get something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My new favorite quote is from a book called Life is a Verb. "Change occurs at the edges, without permission."

    I really like your "die yelling and laughing". Inspiring! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. If I were to get a tattoo it would probably be a quote. Just waiting for the right one and the guts to do it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would NEVER get a tatoo, since they are the combination of my two phobias: needles & definitive decisions/commitment. Never ever ever ever.

    ReplyDelete
  35. My first 'real' tatt was 'know thyself' in Greek - this was above the Oracle of Delphi's temple! yeah!! I love it! And it reflects my ongoing condition/passion for learning and understanding (of myself & others!) and I feel as though I have lived the words before I was inked! Also the tatt is on my foot so I can know myself a bit better with each step.
    I have really enjoyed reading these comments & go the literary/text tattoos!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh yes!! I LOVE quote tattoos. I always think words mean more than pictures in some ways - well lets put it this way - when I get a birthday present and card, if the person has written meaningful words in the card, I will remember them word for word for a long time. So much better than the present!

    I've been toying with the idea of getting 'nourish' on my left inner wrist. I've been struggling with eating issues for years, and I feel like I'm getting somewhere but I like the idea of a quick reminder whenever I look down and need it.

    I've never liked tattoos until I started my 30 things before I'm 30 list (thank you Sarah Von!), but lately I quite like the idea of getting one and being able to say 'yeah i chose that in my 20s', some part of my 'youth' to take with me into my 30s and beyond.

    ReplyDelete
  37. After just 1 tattoo I am addicted already. I'm getting another on December 14 and have plans for a couple more.

    At some point in the future I'll be getting a Fight Club quotation -
    I am Jack's complete lack of surprise or I am Jack's smirking revenge. I may get both.

    They're quite cynical and mean but every time I hear those words I get excited butterflies and a wry smile. It just fits so well with me.

    I love all the tattoos you've featured but especially the 'this is on account...' tattoo. I would love to get that done if I get married.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have 'everything's not lost' tattooed on my back in Jane Austen font :) I was going through a cruddy life stage and just wanted something to remind me that I still have so much no matter what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've often thought the only words I'd ever have tattooed on my body, given my fickle nature, are my mother or my sister's name.

    ReplyDelete
  40. When I first looked at the 'Optimist' tattoo, I thought that it said 'Optimus', and I was all heck YES I want a Transformers tattoo!

    I'm rather fond of the beginning of a Ben Lerner poem:

    "I've invented a light that turns off when you clap. When you clap your eyes."

    ReplyDelete
  41. I found an image the other day that I loved, but I'd alter it a little. On one wrist theirs says "Not with strength" and the other wrist says "But with hope"

    Mine would say "Not with strength" "But with faith"

    ReplyDelete
  42. Ha! I was away all week so I cued a post about my literary tattoo to go up yesterday. It's an image inspired by an ee cummings poem. And seeing this post now, it's like you read my mind!
    I know what you mean about the commitment-phobe thing - I had a friend draw my tatt two years before I had it done, just so I was SURE I wanted it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I've had one for years. It's on my chest. It says:
    "I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely" I don't think I have a picture handy but if you go to my blog you can probably see it :)

    http://damnstylish.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  44. My favorite quote is waaaay too long for a tattoo, so I'd go with my second choice -


    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I don't have a tattoo, and probably wouldn't get one.

    But my favorite quote, that my Grandma used to repeat, is:

    Whatever you are, be a good one.

    Abe Lincoln

    ReplyDelete
  46. What a coincidence! I just got a tattoo, blogged about it AND you commented on said post! I wonder if my Mannaz was any inspiration to this train of thought... :p

    As a writer, a text tattoo would be ideal for me, but it'd need to be the PERFECT phrase or quote. Atm, that would be the word "sing" - to remind myself to always express myself loud and proud.

    --xo.

    ReplyDelete
  47. i'm not sure... it would be something sweet, in a handwritten font... and on the inside of my arm (like where you'd want yours). at the same time, i think i would never be able to choose something permanent like a tattoo. i think i'll stick with sharpie...

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'd get "angels on your pillow" which is part of what my mom and I always say to each other before bed.

    ReplyDelete
  49. gorgeous post - its so lovely to see tattoos being celebrated as the personal things that they can be, rather than being written off as mistakes.

    i have a Sigur Ros lyric tattooed on my foot ( i got it done in iceland last year at the end of a very long trip) it reads: Sæglópur á lífi kominn heim which means "a lost seafarer, alive, has returned home"

    :)madeleine

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm going to get
    "...if I lose myself in nature; I will find peace" in my left wrist in elegant font, but not cursive.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm not sure how I missed out on this post in November, but I have a quote tattooed on my right wrist. It says 'Reinvent' and then there's a little heart.

    It's a quote from a song and the entire line goes 'we must reinvent love'. And actually, it's a recycled quote from Rimbaud (Love must be reinvented).

    I love it, as it sums up what I am about and how I want to spend my life.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have "Not all who wander are lost" tattooed around my ankle. This describes my life perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  53. "As you wish." -Westley in The Princess Bride. probably on my upper arm. Though I'm incredibly fond of bird tattoos and half-sleeves, so if I wasn't absolutely petrified of needles, I'd get a half-sleeve full of birds and abstract swirls reminiscent of skies with "As you wish" worked in somewhere. But I've got no tolerance for pain. So it'll only ever be henna for me!

    ReplyDelete
  54. IT IS A COMMA, for it was the beginning of a letter....

    ReplyDelete