Thursday, October 02, 2008

Getting Ink

I'm blogging about my creative writing class again. The teacher guy recently collected our "writing journals" and today he gave them back, complete with his comments on what we had written.

There was one day I was feeling lazy and simply scribbled all over the page. I justified it as a "poem without language" by adding this quote from a Saussure essay I had to read in another class:

Without language, thought is a vague, uncharted nebula. There are no pre-existing ideas,
and nothing is distinct before the appearance of language.

What makes me laugh a little is the comment left in the margin beside this quote: "You should get this as a tattoo"

Granted, it is a very nice thought. I enjoy the concept and it's very well articulated. It even suits me, I think. As you all probably know by now, I'm a big fan of language and am very interested in finding just the right way to express my thoughts, ideas, feelings etc. I probably wouldn't mind having that tattooed somewhere... maybe on my back? I just think it's funny that it was the first place the prof went.

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I absolutely love the idea of getting words tattooed somewhere. I like the idea of being able to read a person, literally, like a book. But the problem is, what could you get tattooed that would fit you for the rest of your life? If I picked a poem or a quote that I absolutely love today, that fits my entire philosophy on life and means a great deal to me now, who's to say it would still fit five or ten years down the road? Even if I choose something, wait and think about it for a year or two (which may seem extreme, but I for something that will be on my body for the rest of my life, I think that it's perfectly reasonable to do so) and it still is a perfect as I originally thought it was, I can't know that I will still even like it when I'm 50 and have twice as much life experience as I do now.

It's also possible that the meaning of whatever was inked would be diminished simply by having it with me all the time. To be faced with it every day, and to have to explain it to everyone who got close enough to read me, would leach all the specialness out of the words. Eventually they would start to feel like my own personal cliche. So maybe, to prevent that, it should be something that doesn't really mean much.

I don't know. I'm sure I'm over-thinking this way too much. Like I said, I really like the idea of getting words tattooed. Maybe one day I'll actually go out and do it. I will leave you with a question: If you were to get a quote/poem tattooed, what would you get and where would you put it? Or if you already have something, share that.

1 comment:

Mark teh Rider said...

"I'm not dead yet"

Across my forhead.