"Pale Blue Dot," Chandra Rapley
Last summer I got my smallest tattoo, a pale blue dot on the inside of my right wrist. Directly opposite the tattoo, on the top of my wrist, is a scar. The scar is from 3 years ago, when I was shot while driving on the 5 freeway in San Diego. This was one of several traumatic experiences that I experienced over the course of just a few years, and I have struggled to find a way to make sense of my survival through these seemingly random and chaotic acts of violence that surround me.
This tattoo, opposite my bullet scar, is Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot," the Earth as viewed from the Voyager 1 space probe. Sagan gave a brilliant speech on that image, and its cosmic significance has helped me find meaning where I thought there was none. The world is a chaotic place, but it is also so very fragile, and so very small.
Sagan says: "To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
It is a privilege to be here, on this pale blue dot, on this "mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam," and my survival means that I have another day to help make our home a more compassionate and kind place.
Tattoosday is way to demonstrate the storytelling quality of tattoos as well as the healing quality of tattoos.
If you would like to share the stories behind your ink, send us a picture of a tattoo or tattoos that have a significant story tied to your survival in life. Then write at least 400 words (you can write as many as you'd like) about the tattoo, it's meaning, and what it means to you today.
These stories will all run on Tuesdays!
One per week! So you have plenty of time to submit them to us!
The caveat with TATTOOSDAY is that we will not be making you a free piece of art, instead, your ink IS the art we will share with the story—which makes the most sense. BUT we will send you some stickers for sharing your story with us!