The slow drag of the needle across skin is a primitive sort of pain, one you can relax into, one which ebbs and flows as nerves are uncovered, one you can surf through highs and lows.
My first two tattoos, as I’ve mentioned already, were not borne from any particular event nor as part of a fad or fashion. I got them to challenge perceptions of who I am and, to this day, I still have a fascination with them.
The act of having ink etched into your skin, creating a permanent piece of art is at once terrifying yet utterly intoxicating. It’s hard to explain to people but a worthwhile conversation to have for the reaction you get when you mention them is hugely interesting.
Many people have tattoos for fashion. They don’t necessarily belong to any tribe or group, they have been through no rite of passage, nor are they declaring devotion to a higher power. And that’s fine. I don’t fully understand the reasoning but such is life.
Would I have gotten a tattoo (or two) had it not started to become fashionable? Probably not, but I did consider WHY I was getting one for, let’s be honest, I’m no fashion icon.
Recently I’ve talked of getting a third tattoo. But why?
Well, life continues to change me and as I retain my tendency to question everything I find myself understanding my self more completely than before. Despite the cliche, life really is a journey and every step is teaching me something new. I embrace my own foibles, my own construction more and more, and find myself making excuses for that less and less. I’ve still got a lot of questions but the realisation that I can finally see ME does, I think, require some mark in the sand.
Enter the tattoo.
The word “and” is very powerful, I use it a lot in discussions with other people both as a way to drag out more information, to coax and tempt them into saying something else, and to punctuate any statements. It may sound arrogant or self-servcing, and I don’t always vocalise these thoughts (or indeed the conversations as they are often between me, myself and I), but that word has stood me in good stead these past few years.
I find myself drawn to that position now, the ‘so what?’ and ‘what else?’ of life. I squiggle ampersands in the margins. &
So, I’m thinking something like this: