…that tattoos aren’t cheep.
Sometimes it feels like I’m carrying a bird, ehm, a burden of course – clearly a Freudian slip because as you might have guessed from the title, bird is the word and isn’t the English language so fascinating considering these two words rhyme? #englishpronounciation I take it you already know the famous poem by Geroge Bernhard Shaw, so on with the subject! I wanna introduce you to a very specific bird, outside of biological realms, yet skin deep, (l)inked to me for all eternity. This is its story. And so it goes.
Birds and books
Birds are one of the most fascinating creatures in art and literature. Two literary birds had particularly affected me in some way or the other, and despite the fact I read one of them in the bleak December, Nevermore was not one of them. Fritz Zorn’s Mars has already been mentioned here some time ago – you can read it up here in case you have forgotten or found this blog only recently. Till today, it remains one of the most intense books I’ve ever read. And it’s even more intense if you sit down with some friends, a bottle of red, and read it out loud. Celebrate every sentence in its blank brutality. The darkness of the words and the (fictional) reality they create are a look beyond the abyss of humanity. We live in a world that shares a terrifiying amount of things from dystopian novels. Maybe that’s why I like them so much – it is still lighter reading than the news. And lighter than what’s going on in my heart.
Birds and books are a more intimate relationship than the birds and the bees.
On an intellectual level. Take Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. First of all, love the title. Most definitely better than the German “Mister Aufziehvogel”. That on just doesn’t flow. Or rather, fly, in this case. Because bird, you know? Secondly, the opening sequence is among my favourite literary scenes ever and one with high Identifikationspotenzial, involving yet another bird, a stealing magpie, to be precise. Click here to read some more about what Rossini has to do with Murakami and me (and find an original pasta recipe from a real nonna).
These two very different books have two things in common: a bird on the cover, and the fact that you can open either of them at any random page, and you’re sure to find a memorable quote and/or meaningful sentence (unless you end up with one of Murakami’s really weird description of sex scenes. His birds and the bees are gewöhnungsbedürftig to say the least.)
Anyway, this is the novel that got me hooked on Murakami. The wind-up bird book cover ended up as my office desktop wallpaper when I was still at the theatre – because it was all rewind, function, rewind, function, repeat, repeat, repeat. And it nearly made it onto my skin. Why? The wind-up bird symbolizes the struggle of a free spirit trapped in the fixed schemes of a society where you have to pull yourself together, wind-up the mechanic for functional mode and do it all over again until it breaks. In the end, I decided against that. And I’m glad, in hindsight, because I broke shortly after. And I’ve been malfunctioning ever since. No need of a constant reminder. I got a bird tattoo, though. A different one. And Zorn and Murakami were some of the inspiration behind it. One might call them its founding f(e)athers. The question was of course: Where would the proverbial eagle land? Where would it settle and nestle on my body? And then: What kind of bird in which pose? Without feather ado I proceeded to put my ideas onto paper and started drawing – and discovered: my drawing skills are mediocre at best and I became more and more frustrated with what was in my head and what was on paper.
However, with much persistance and determination, I managed some decent motives after all. They were still drafts and I was willing to let Jessi, employee at TCs, refine the chosen one into a finalized design.
She immediately grasped what I had imagined, et voilà, two days later, she had transformed my clumsy attempt of a bird into a skillful and terrific piece of art:
See that tiny speck of blue? And isn’t the whole design simply amazing? So glad I let her do her thing. And then let her do the actual thing. Before the needle started humming, however, bird product placement had to be done: I have this rather prominent beauty patch on my left side and we considered all the options – placing the bird before, behind, above, below it – and all of them were meh at best. So what was the logical thing to do? Working it into the design.And so I was ready for two dreadful hours of pain. The pain is less painful and more tedious. A constant scratching and nagging and rapping and tapping at my chamber door – damn you, Nevermore, get out of here!! – and you get into this sort of carthasis, enduring and almost meditating in the pain until at some point you have die Nase gestrichen voll and you’re jolly well fed up and you start getting really annoyed by the needle’s sound, by the dull persistant pain, and you keep thinking “looks done to me, what the f*** is she still tattooong for?” And of course it is not done yet and you know it. But it feels nice to be mad at someone else and blame them for your inconvenience.
A bird tattoo is not cheep. But worth it.
So yeah, that was my brief feathered tale. Needless to add, you have to tweet this, just for the pun of it.