I find marks of authorship very compelling. Signatures, underlining, editing notations, doodles. Physical objects that say something in thought happened here. Tattoos. I wasn’t interested in tattoos for a long time. I didn’t object to them, I just wasn’t really interested one way or the other. This may have had something to do with only seeing very boring ones – eagles and MOM. I started to get interested when my best friend was thinking about getting one – I think she had it narrowed down to an owl or a green man. She never did it, but by then I was curious and started noticing them more – especially since I was starting to meet really interesting people and they had much better ideas for inking themselves than eagles and MOM.
When I came across a book about literary tattoos, I lost my heart to the whole idea. There’s a vast world of amazing and beautiful words-on-skin. There are thousands of quotes that I love, but none of them seemed like the right thing for me. Last fall, it finally came to me – the right idea for beauty, symbolism, permanence, impermanence and a life marked by love of words. After I move, I’ll get a tattoo of proofreader’s marks, in red, down my right side. The simple, elegant, universally recognized symbols of a work in progress. I can’t think of anything more appropriate to who I am.