Sunday, June 19, 2005


Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit

These are the words Angelina Jolie has tattooed below her navel. Translated from Latin, they mean: “That which nourishes me also destroys me.” Is this her way of signaling to the world that she, too, is addicted to crosswords?

Google says no. This appears to be a favorite slogan of the eating disorder community. But I say we’re still kindred spirits. Because the language I use to describe why I do the puzzle is strikingly similar to theirs: it’s an aspect of my life that I can control. When chaos looms all around, I turn to the puzzle. Not only does it shut out the craziness, but I’m focused on a task I know I can master. It’s not about whether I’ll complete it, it’s about how much solace I can get out of immersing myself in it. I’ve often said that if there were a chance I could not finish the crossword, I wouldn’t do it.

Yes, this is what I’ve often said—until yesterday, when I had to cheat to fill in the NE corner. In so doing, I became, for a day, one of those people for whom the puzzle is itself the source of anxiety, not its vanquisher. Knowing that many on the Times crossword forum struggled with the same clues provided little comfort. Actually, no comfort at all. That’s their business.

Now I need to come up with a suitable place for that tattoo.


Anonymous Rose said...

Crosswords are, ultimately, a solitary sport, the solver against the clock and the constructor. But I know I'd find some solace in knowing that the corner was just really hard. Maybe Will and the constructor and the factchecker were all having off days. Maybe it was just a crappy fill. These things happen.

And do you really want the same tattoo as Angelina Jolie?

7:41 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Denk said...

Put that tattoo on your cute little booty.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the tattoos on her arms and back thats not Latin? Can anyone translate that?

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She has a tatoo in Sanskrit on her back that is a prayer for her son Maddox, and she has ' A prayer for the wild at heart who live in cages' or similar which is a literary quote. Im not sure about the others.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Reem said...

One on her upper arm at the bottom,she has got an Arabic word, which says " al azemma" which means the fixed resolution or the incantation.

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

her arm now are the navigational coordinates (longitude and latitude) of the birthplace of each of her children

i want the quod me nutrit tattoo

5:40 PM  
Anonymous lexis said...

im qettinq 'quod me nutrit me destruit' tattood on my forearm =) verrrry soon . anqelina jolie is my idol .

12:10 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I usually find it incredibly tacky when someone gets the same tattoo as another person (especially a celebrity), but "quod me nutrit me destruit" is pretty much the one saying I live by, especially with my history - as was mentioned - within the eating disordered community, and in life in general.

8:24 PM  

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