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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

the semicolon

To mark the impending arrival of my first grandboy and also for my 56th (wtf?) birthday, I am going next week with my niece Yaya to get matching tattoos. This is remarkable for a variety of reasons:

When Emaline, my eldest, came home from college and bent to hug the dog she revealed an indelible design on her back. I didn’t react well. At all. Trends in general bug me. Our landfills are littered with fads. (Which doesn’t mean I didn’t routinely capitulate to “requests” for Beanie Babies, Michael Jordans and whiny Tamagotchies back in the day — but I did feel guilty.)

Anyway, I read the origin story of these grammar tattoos– and felt a surprising tug. Unlike the ubiquitous comma or the much-maligned ellipsis, the semicolon has jumped out of sentences and onto body parts to carry a larger message:


Whether it’s recovery, or reaching for a dream (like writing a book, for instance :) ) or changing your path altogether– you are the author of your narrative. You can pause, but you can’t truly stop. There is a before and an after. But in order to connect the two you have to keep moving.


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