A Life Story Told in Arm Tattoos

This was sent to me today, and I can’t stop thinking about it. This woman speaks so beautifully, and so confidently about her tattoos and I’m inspired by how strongly she feels connected to them.

Storybook by Nora Flanagan from Emma Coleman on Vimeo.

She expresses the resolve I wish I had about my tattoo.

3 thoughts on “A Life Story Told in Arm Tattoos

  1. This video has made its way around the world in the past 48 hours. The student of mine who originally posted it gave me a heads-up that, three months after the event — a youth poetry slam in which the adult coaches perform a round as an act of good-natured self-deprication — it was suddenly everywhere. In the young but strong tradition of internet anonymity, I’ve been called every awful thing that women get called when we say something with conviction and confidence. While I’m sure I’ll still be able to sleep at night, it’s not what any of us enjoy reading over our morning coffee. When I searched the piece after avoiding the matter all day and feeling generally creeped out about it, I saw your blog and what you said. You made my day. You fixed the jerks who called me a whore and a c*nt for claiming ownership over my body and the stories of my life. Thank you. Truly.

    • Nora – I cannot believe you were able to find what was such a short post, the day I put it up. Isn’t the internet wonderful sometimes?? Your comment made me wish I had posted a more lengthy reaction to your video – I was totally blown away. First of all, you’re obviously an experienced poet/speaker/performer, and I enjoyed watching on a purely entertainment level. But as someone who recently got her first tattoo and is now getting it removed with very mixed emotions, your video really hit a nerve (in a positive way). I wish I was able to own my tattoo – it’s on my arm as well. I simply don’t like the design (it looked more delicate as a stencil, before the “artist” inked it in). I love the concept, and what it means to me, just not the design. Anyway – don’t listen to the haters online. They probably feel stupid because they’re the ones you’re talking to in the first place; the people who ask if it’s real, if it hurts, if they can touch them. So really, mission accomplished – you were heard by your intended audience!

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