Storybook by Nora Flanagan

Storybook by Nora Flanagan from Emma Coleman on Vimeo.

I know little about Nora Flanagan. I know she is a teacher, I know she runs, I know she is a poet, I know she has some beautiful tattoos, I know she made me, alone in my office, applaud this video and burst into tears.

(please watch past the finger snaps)

On the week where I am getting my tenth tattoo and talking to an artist about an eleventh? This is important to me. Please watch it.

A few of my favourite phrases
x this is a story written in permanent ink, in a language only I can understand
x When playground pageant princess momthers stare down my illustrated guide to parenting I wonder what their children will learn from what they see, because my boys know that we do not judge by skin.
x days where my body and the stories I have written on it feel like the only real thing I have.
x my tattoos hurt as much or as little as the moments in my life that lead me to them.
x my father HATES them. Until you do.
x when you get old, will you be grateful that you never wrote the moments of your life in permanent ink?
x Do they mean anything? they mean everything, only it’s not your picturebook.



  1. Leah · July 11, 2012

    That is a really cool poem/video! As an untattooed person, I do think some of the questions she states could be meant as kind and well meaning curiosity (I know I am probably guilty of asking them (not out loud) in my mind!) – but I can see how the repetitiveness of them would get frustrating!

    • Sarah-Rose · July 12, 2012

      Oh, sure. Most of the time, and from friends etc I really don’t mind. It’s more irritating from complete strangers, or people who use THAT tone of voice when asking, that it is annoying.

      My worst was when an acquaintance asked me about the sugar skull on my arm who then, after I told him about it & why I had it, started telling me how I was wrong and it was only a gang symbol. Terrible man. I have avoided him since.

      • Leah · July 13, 2012

        That’s awful, purely because YOUR tattoo’s are downright gorgeous, no matter what kind of “symbol” they are supposed to be. I’d avoid him too.

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