'But back to your question: why do people [get tattoos]. I've always thought of it as a way to get a little more in touch with your body.'
The kit leaned forward. 'Really?'
'Yeah. Your mind and your body. Two separate things, right?'
Sidra directed all her processing power to the conversation at hand. 'Right.'
'Except not. Your mind comes from your body. It's born out of it. And yet, it's a wholly independent thing. Even though the two are linked, there's a disconnect. Your body does stuff without asking your mind about it, and your mind wants stuff that your body can't always do. You know what I mean?'
'Yes.' Stars, did she ever.
'So, tattooing . . . you've got a picture in your mind, then you put it on your body. You make a hazy imagining into a tangible part of you. Or, to flip it around, you want a reminder of something, so you put it on your body, where it's a real, touchable thing. You see the thing on your body, you remember it in your mind, then you touch it on your body, you remember why you got it, what you were feeling then, and so on, and so on. It's a re-enforcing circle. You're reminded that all these separate pieces are part of the whole that comprises you.'
--Becky Chambers, "A Closed and Common Orbit". Sidra is a former spaceship AI housed in a humanoid body (the "kit").