Unlike many people I know, quite possibly most people I know, I don’t have a single or fractional tattoo on my body. The latter would be for people who either changed their minds part way through or maybe ran out of money. I only know of one such person, but I’m neither saying who it is, nor why they didn’t complete it. I only include them because if I did the actual counting, they may tip the balance between whether it’s many people I know that have tattoos, or most people I know that have tattoos. As for me, I have no tattoo, despite possibly having the greatest percentage of skin surface area able to support a tattoo among anyone I know, women included, while still having a full head of hair and no wrinkles. I am that smooth and, um, dermy?
Not surprisingly, being among that many tattoo bearers, more than once in my life, I’ve been asked what tattoo I would get if I did get one, so as not to be left out of the tattoo story exchange. Perhaps not surprisingly, I didn’t have a committed answer. If I did, I’d probably have that tattoo to show. However, I didn’t have a tattoo because I wasn’t committal. I really just did love my body just the way it was that much, to never have even cared to seriously entertain the thought of “improving” it in any way with a tattoo, to know what tattoo I would get if I did. That super positive body image says a lot not only in this day and age, but also of someone who nobody exactly points to as having a beautiful adult body at 5′ 2″ and 108 lbs for a guy, despite the very lean and inaccurately true 4% body fat. Those body fat measuring electrodes are poor at accuracy on the lower end, but they do give that reading, and it sure sounds good to claim!
Never having been committal at a response for what tattoo I would get if I did get one, I thought I’d try for today’s writing exercise. Putting something in “writing” is a sort of commitment, right? Even if it were “writing” on a blog?
Let me start my tattoo answer on the most committal level of all, which is what kind of tattoo I would not be getting. I have no doubt I would rule out anything that covered that much of my body, like big art. Any tattoo I get was going to be small so as to leave that beautiful untarnished skin mostly the way it is!
Of small tattoos, I tend to think of them as being either symbols or words. Symbols could be that, or small pictures symbolizing something. Words could be a single word, phrase, sentence, poem, or other wordy forms. With respect to logos, I’ve designed some logos for myself of which I’m fond, but I don’t think I’m fond enough of any to commit to for the rest of my life without possibly regretting it later. So it comes down to words. What word/s would I tattoo on myself?
When I think of words, my favourite word since an accidental discovery in adulthood, easily comes to mind. It’s the Japanese word kaizen, for which my favourite interpretation is the art of constant self-improvement. It’s a great word, with mystery to invite a conversation I’d love to have about life philosophies as few would know what it means. Discovered from having seen some small business by that name in Vancouver in the 1990s, and going to look it up later for what “kind of zen” this “kaizen” was, and what it meant, I have pretty much embraced it as my “how” life motto. This doesn’t apply to every aspect of life, of course, because effects like time on the physical body, and lack of time to constantly improve everything you ever took up, prevents it. Rather, it applies to the net result of the whole person that I am, that I am a better person after each day, year, whatever time period, than the last, or on my way to being so after completion of some change I am in transition of completing. So kaizen would definitely be a candidate.
Having brought up my “how” life motto, the obvious follow-up, at least to me, is the “why”. That would be for good, as will be the title of that potential third book I want to write this year that is my life strategy. I will write it not only for myself, and to show others I know, but also as an example for people to think about their life strategy. So for good would be another choice for a tattoo for me.
Finally, for words, there are poems, quotes, mottos, and other short writing forms. That’s where I run into trouble. I’ve written over 1800 poems to date, of which many I am rather fond, though practicality of tattoo length brevity do eliminate many. Yet, there are still well over 1000 haiku, tanka, and one stanza poems from which to choose! As for quotes, I only have a hundred I have written as my life mottos (book, blog). However, I am significantly far more fond of these, on average, than poems I had written. To make things more challenging, just about all are short enough to fit into a tattoo. Unfortunately, the one that is my #1 life motto, the best thing you can give someone, including yourself, is a chance, is too long to be tattoo practical. Fortunately, as great a life motto as I think it is, I don’t think it’s super tattoo worthy. Too soft. One that I think is, though, is the more action-oriented and in-your-face
Life isn’t fair
Live to make it fairer
So that’s three choices now! I’m happy to say I don’t have any more to offer. Yet, while it is a better answer than before for what tattoo I would get should I get one, when I gave no option, it is still non-committal unless I narrow it down to one.
But who said I had to narrow it down to one? It’s only a theoretical question of what tattoo I’d get if I only got one, assuming I’d only get one to fit in, or to bond with those who had tattoos so as to have one more thing in common with them, or just one thing in common with some. Nobody said it had to be only one, though. Thinking about it further, truth be told, if I were to get a tattoo, I would not get just one. That’s not my nature. When I go in, I tend to go all in, to match Fate’s ante in my life for whatever it deals to me as when it rains in my life, it pours! So yes, if I were to get “a” tattoo, I’d get all three!
There! Still think I’m non-committal???
Oh, now you want to know what I’d get first? Well, if I don’t get all three at once, I’d assign each two numbers on a six-sided die and roll it… cause that’s how I roll. Happy? 😉
What would your answer be for a tattoo question? Whether your first one or next one?
For those who follow this blog, and just my own records, after these almost daily writing articles, I will sometimes give a resolutions update, with the header link being to resolution dedicated posts. Maybe once I get a complete list posted, I’ll change the link to that list.
- Today, I joined the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia that was one resolution towards my two-year writing journey. Made purposely easy to get off to a good start and be able to check off a resolution soon, I waited until today when it was convenient for me to go get groceries so as to bundle my spending into one day. One resolution is to spend, on average, no more than two days per week, so I do have to be strategic when I spend, when I can be. Today was my first day spending money in 2021. But here’s one resolution done!
- I also upgraded my book samples reading list up from reading at least 24 book samples to reading at least 52! I brushed off two last night! Some are a lot shorter than I thought, and I read much faster when just sampling than when doing a deep dive as I tend to do with full books. I also have 118 in my Amazon “samples” list so I will probably pick up more than 24 this year at the rate I’ve been adding them in the past 3 years, making the goal of at least 24 a futile effort to reduce that samples list averaging 39 per year. Of what I read last night:
- Open, by Andre Agassi (Autobiography). Fabulous sample! Will be reading for sure! Very appropriate title on many levels as well.
- Vi, by Kim Thuy (Fiction), translated by Sheila Fischman. Similar award winning writing I liked a lot from her first book, Ru. For the writing style, and address of Vietnamese refugee life in the west (not sure what country from sample), I will also read in full. I am looking to write a Vietnamese refugee memoir, after all, but obviously nonfiction, not fiction as her book.
- I also downloaded the Libby app to borrow e-books online to save money doing this “reading survey”. I’ll only buy books not available from the library, which probably won’t be any, but we’ll see. A bunch of Vietnamese memoirs I read a few years back weren’t. I think I’ve exhausted those, though, and still intent to write mine because they weren’t nearly the same stories, nor did I think they were generally very well done. We Vietnamese can do better. The right people just haven’t stepped up. I’m meaning mostly others, here, not me, but if the others won’t step up, I can’t wait a few more decades to find out. Nobody will remember us Boat People then with all the refugee waves coming and much more media covering them now than in the 70s and 80s with just limited radio and TV.