Li's Tattoo Recalls Saint Exupéry

A tattoo means the most to the person who has endured the process.

A tattoo often represents more than what meets the eye.

I met Li along the New Jersey Transit corridor of Penn Station.

She has five tattoos, and chose this one to share with us here on Tattoosday:

What I find intriguing about this piece is that it is not abundantly clear to a stranger what it is.

Li had this tattoo based on, she said, a drawing by Jean Piaget, that depicts the author Antoine de Saint Exupéry rolling an orange along the keys of a piano.

Saint Exupéry, most notably the author of The Little Prince, is Li's favorite author.

Li told me that the writer rolled the orange over the keys, which produced a soothing noise which helped his wife sleep at night,

I could not find the drawing to which Li refers, but I did find this reference, in Saint-Exupery: A Biography, by Stacey Schiff:

At Silvia's he devised a game he called "des oranges sur le piano." By rolling one orange up and down the black keys and a second over the white he was able to produce what sounded to most ears like honest Debussy.

This tattoo was inked by Rachel, formerly of No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo, in Philadelphia.

Thanks to Li for sharing her fascinating tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!