“embodiment is about making metaphor permanent”


L and I have been talking about tattoos lately, and how she wants tattoos, and how the permanence of tattoos is the whole point, and here is one of the really important parts of what she said:

I think part of the tattooing thing is reminding myself that I have a body that will never stop being a table, will never stop being a bridge to creating glasses and vases and rainbowed lights.

and, you know, it’s that sense of permanence in myself, as we talked about. so. I think a lot of the time, embodiment is about making metaphor permanent. I can talk about rainbowed light and vases and tables all I like, but the metaphor is by definition impermanent. what makes it permanent isn’t it becoming a construction, but becoming something that I continuously remember. in memory, it doesn’t matter if there is an actual table, or a vase, or a work I’ve produced. I remember, and the memory is in me, and I am metaphor as much as I am real — and the realism of the metaphor is that I am always me. it’s a sense of reaching towards.

embodiment as permanence of metaphor is a powerful thing, for me. and that needs anchors. a table, a tattoo, a bit of light. all of these things. they could all be the same, really. but I’ll remember, and that’s the thing.

YES! to the above. In my particular case, also because I get to wear my beliefs on my body, not because I want others to acknowledge and notice my beliefs (I am vocal enough as it is that those are obvious to almost anyone that talks to me for a few minutes) but, because, when I started to get inked, I decided to make my beliefs part of my flesh, to somehow incarnate them. Whereas words have a temporary nature (they are no longer yours as soon as you utter them), I got to “become” my ideas when I got them on my skin. Needless to say, I do not mean this literally (as in, “I got the anarchist manifest tattooed on my back”), but more in the metaphorical sense of owning my ideas of self determination and possession over my body and it’s related autonomy.

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