I love words. I was an English major, I love typography, I am into how words sound as they roll off the tongue. I like phrases that are not inspiring but have true, personal meaning for me. 

Many, many years ago, I went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and saw an exhibition of work by Sigmar Polke. I remember turning the corner and seeing a series of abstract, oversized paintings that took my breath away. (About the work, SFMOMA curator John Caldwell wrote, “We are in a strangely empty, yet magical landscape, in which the dust of meteors and of obscure chemical elements is moved about by silent, unfelt winds.”) The scale, the materials, the fact that they have the capability to evolve over time due to the materials used – everything just resonated with me, including the title of the series. And that is what I want for my tattoo.

You are probably asking, so what’s the title already, Rena? The Spirits That Lend Strength Are Invisible. I kind of wanted it to be private but I also think it’s a good story, with a lot of meaning to me personally. And really, the words themselves are not mine – but the story and the meaning is.

Flash forward to this year: My good friend Lisa is doing 365 days of hand lettering on her blog. I sheepishly ask her to design my tattoo, and she says yes. Now I have the design and I just need to get it done. At long last, evolved over time, just like the original inspiration.