I had always imagined myself with tattoos. I saw myself covered in blackwork ink, beautiful artwork, and lyrics that meant something – but I was scared about getting one. With your first tattoo, you don't know what to expect. Is it painful? What if it gets infected? What if it turns out terribly?
The songs met us in hope and in despair in 'the middle of the air'. There was a space of yearning there. That space is where the artists, songwriters and psalmists send us. That is the place we can be met.
My father's smirk also comes from the fact it's one of the few Neil Young songs I've introduced to him.
If you can mark your steps in the grooves of your favourite records – and we can, of course – then there will always be those songs that guide you in your leaps of faith until you land, safe and sure footed, on the other side.
I am free to find new horizons and make them mine. I am more than my bullies ever imagined and becoming more with each passing day. I refuse to let the past define me.
Sevana Ohandjanian Berlin, Germany, December, 2012. Grabbing my phone from its position atop the toilet roll dispenser, I find the song. The only song that can turn the shaky breaths smooth, that sucks the trembling out of my fingertips.
Phil Dimitriadis Patras, Greece September 1996 I’m what some call a binge drinking alcoholic. I can go weeks, months and after hearing this song, seven years without having a drink.
Stephen Andrew The Palace, St Kilda, 2003 I reckon that I, one of tens of thousands who would have seen that Wilco tour poster, was the only one who shed tears upon viewing it.
Rijn Collins The Metro, Melbourne, November 1995 Agoraphobia starts slowly. There’s a tremble of a hand on the doorknob, a flutter of your heart on the tram, and then suddenly it’s been two years of watching your housemates walk down the front path, without you.