Awkward Turtles and Romps
I’ve been contemplating getting a tattoo, for a long time now. I should
have been inked, around the time of my birthday (May 3, to be precise)
but somehow, it just never materialized as slated. Okay, I didn’t end up
getting it, because I was with a group of friends, gallivanting the streets
of Johannesburg, like tipsy-still-thirty gypsies. Literally, we were nomads.
but i won’t elaborate on that too much, since this piece is about ‘my tattoo’,
not about the alibis and setbacks. I remember the reaction I received, when
i reminded everyone that one of the stops (of the many) needed to be made
that day, should have been at the parlour; i could sense the disgruntlement,
although I do also understand that we were under immense pressure, to
find accommodation and settle in, having been on the road, literally, since
the night before.
I relented on the immediate need, and decided (promised myself) that I could
just get it another time, and that it really wasn’t such a huge kettle of fish.
But albeit giving up, I remained aware of the rather irking fact that, I was not
always apt to save money, and that I would most likely be able to do my tattoo
six times over, with all the money I received, sporadically during the year, but
still wouldn’t end up inked, because of the former fact, of my disposition to
The 2012 year is about to end, and something I’ve wanted since the fall of the
previous year, might just remain a want until the break of the new year.
I don’t want that to happen. I am going to try with every corpuscle of
my being, to make this little dream become a reality before i carry, what should
be considered: ‘an expired dream’, into a year I’ve set aside for the
creation, development and emergence, of so many other ambitions, goals, etc.
For those who don’t know, the tattoo that I’ve been yearning to get on
my skin is; the outline (in bold and black, not beautiful lines) of a tattoo,
with it’s stout legs pushed out at its sides. The lack of detail has everything to
do with my simplicity, and also the symbolism of it;
the outer lines depict the shadow of the turtle
the boldness of the lines symbolise the texture (in a sense), lending
to the idea of strength (in relation to the turtle’s shell)-à the hard shell,
signifies the face of exterior strength, and also the length and breath of
the protection we assimilate, as defenses and to keep out what we
don’t welcome in. The line is like a wall, in other words, except that
we don’t live within the construct, we are it, and the walls are
bold and thick, emphasising that we have strong bodies and spirits, but
mostly that we are unimpressionable and our mental state is able
to perservere influence.
The turlte became sort of an influential ‘figure of fauna’ to me, around the
time i started enjoying my trips down marijuana avenue, with my crazy antics,
illusions and artistic paraphernalia like, viz. my poetry pads, pens, notebooks, and
The turtle was then used, to let one another know, if the other was already high. In that way,
we would all be cognisant of the state we were in. That was it, really. However, turtles had
long since stood out for me, because of how dissimilar they are to other animals, and how
their speed is criticised. I believe that, it was this criticism which somehow made me privy, of the
entitlement assumed, destructive criticism given, and the judgements handed out by humans, extending the criticism, control over, and judgement of other human beings to animals, in a global and evolving world. The turtle is almost like me, though I am anything but slow; I tend to slow down, casually, to peruse what’s happening around me, and I might even take a while to get going again. I’m comfortable in my shell- my outer experience, and it’s of great importance to me, because not only does it encase my organs, but it’s a point by which I am perceived, socially. Irrespective of whether such a perception affects me or not, my physical appearance matters to me, not only for partial veneration and admiration from others, but it’s also something I can contain and construct my qualia (innate reality); my mental world is concealed, and kept private through my outer frame. Exactly, the way turtles are concealed within their shells.
|Example of Turtle Outline for tattoo|
|Picture from my birthday weekend, with Azizza and Chanelle|