Memories are like tattoos. They’re a permanent stain on our person, staying with us for life. Some visible to others, some not, they may change our perception of the world, or how the word perceives us. Indelible as they may be, no matter how many layers of skin the ink penetrates, no matter how deeply our thoughts alter our present, they do change.
Slowly, imperceptibly over the years, lines begin to blur. Colors become muddy. Once vibrant, sharp, crystalline pictures fade into confusion and darkness. Can you trust your own mind? Can you understand the symbols painted on your body? Does it all still make sense?
Memories can be painful, seared into our consciousness through traumatic events. Once they’re there, it’s almost impossible to remove their lingering outlines entirely, forever tracing around wrists and ankles like ghostly shackles. Cover-ups are like bandages with weak adhesive at best. No matter how many solid color blocks you add or intricate geometric designs, they’re still there, lurking beneath it all.
Sometimes our memories are tattoos, literally, and vice versa. If you could go back, would you change them? Would you paint a new picture? Would it even make a difference? The body underneath is always the same. It only matters what you do with it.
Portraits of and artwork by Squiggle Tats.