Words on a Vine

October 26, 2008

“Literature is written on her body — 597 words of love and passion.”

That’s how I described Tasia Bernie in a story I wrote for The Oregonian last month. I first met Tasia at the gym where we both work out. I asked her about the tattooed words circling her body like a vine, which led to interviews and eventually the story.

Since then we’ve had several brief amiable chats, usually while passing in the gym in the midst of workouts. A writer and fitness trainer, Tasia has achieved a level of strength and agility that I admire — one beyond my reach.

I also admire her taste in literature, some that I had read before and some that I’ve read thanks to her. Earlier this week, she said two more literary excerpts have been added to her skin.

From James Salter‘s novel Light Years comes: “I love you as I love the earth, white buildings, photographs, noons … I adore you.” And from Sharon Olds‘ poem “Everything“: “and love stays, where nothing is, and seeks”

That makes 620 words on a vine that’s not done growing. More are on the inside, speaking to Tasia and seeking the light.