I had a dream that whatever I thought appeared on my body in tattoo form, in cursive writing. It was anything I thought and would stay there for a couple hours. At first it was thoughts/doubts I was having and I was very nervous, but then I learned how to write poetry in my mind and have it appear on my body and I become very proud of this skill.
Nothing means anything.
Things mean a lot to us: to you, to me, to birds, to flowers. We create that meaning. This does not make our lives less meaningful, to the contrary, taking ownership of our agency, in respect to the ability to create meaning, can be both freeing and enriching. It’s useful to begin from this vantage.
We are animals. We are animals that learned to use tools, control where plants grow, kill other animals, abuse each other, enslave each other, get addicted to these last couple of things, and then use all our knowledge to royally fuck up everything in sight in order to satisfy these addictions. We can probably be a better kind of animal if we try.
Most people are tattooed nowadays. When I speak to the few people I know without tattoos about why they haven’t gotten them, one concept always comes up: permanence. People don’t want to be stuck with something. People are afraid of not being able to change something.
Tattoos represent both the act of taking control over our bodies, in our ability to change our physical appearance, and also a loss of control over our physical appearance. I have a lot of tattoos. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to tattoo artists, several of which have told me they really disliked reality television shows about tattooing. The consensus among those I’ve spoken to was that the format of these shows influenced the behavior of new customers.
All of a sudden everyone needed to relate to their artist what the tattoo they desired would represent to them. The problem with this is that a good symbol is always more potent, pure, than what it’s communicating. People want to control the creation of the symbol at the expense of the symbol. A skull conveys a thousand things at once. The minute you tell me it’s about your uncle Fredo who was killed in a boating accident; its power is decreased exponentially.
As animals, we have outgrown the need to control, yet that drive is evermore present within us. Language is a means of control. So is secrecy. Everyone used to be able to communicate telepathically. Then we learned how to lie.
Words are clumsy tools at best. Still they have power. It’s hard to order a pizza without them.
If my thoughts instantly became tattoos on my body, I’d be covered in the phrase I WANT PIZZA. Eventually this may be embarrassing. But should it be? We all need to eat.
I’m not reducing your dream to pizza. Your dream is probably about being about to turn shit into gold. You can do this. Our existence is proof that alchemy works. The trick is to not try.