Tuesday 25 July 2017

Mary Kenny: Which words are wise enough to be my new tattoo?

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

A little while ago, I decided that each springtime - until I shuffle off this mortal coil - I would acquire a new tattoo, and April's a fine time to do it. Last year's tattoo was a sweet little shamrock on my upper arm, but for the new one, I am keen on some form of writing on the flesh.

I see young people with beautiful written tattoos on their necks, ankles, and other exposed parts, often (like David Beckham's) in Sanskrit, or perhaps Tibetan. Tattoo script can be a work of art as well as an inspiring adage.

So what message to choose? For some time, I have pondered over Beckett's famous advice to an actor who feared he was failing at what he was trying to do. "No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." This might be an inspiring aide-memoire to have inscribed into my arm, and the full quote is even longer, beginning "Ever tried: ever failed.." But then my friend Marjorie said it was too downbeat as a permanent marker, and that sowed doubts about its suitability.

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