Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bohemian Rhapsody

Yesterday, I got my first (and probably my last) tattoo (yes, it hurt).  It is a Celtic Motherhood Knot, a symbol of the unity of Mother/Child/Faith/Heritage displayed on the big toe of my left foot.

For a long time, I've wanted a tattoo but could never go through with it.  I couldn't justify the cost.  I thought it was sinful.  I worried that I would change my mind on where or what I wanted -a circle of flowers on my ankle, a wreath around my wrist; before long, my body would be awash in tattoo ink.  And so I put off that dream, satisfying myself with temporary henna tattoos - a circle of flowers on my ankle, a wreath around my wrist...

I have what I call my "bohemian" streak.  It's this part of me that wants to break free from conventional behavior; to satisfy the artistic side of my being; to be adventurous.  It's the part of me that paints my toenails purple and dyes my hair red and wants to bungee jump and sky-dive.  Getting my tattoo indulged this bohemian streak.

After my friend Adiel got a tattoo, I made plans for my own inking and she agreed to join me for moral support and courage.  The date was planned, I chose the design and for the next three weeks I waited excitedly.

The symbol I chose was for many reasons.  First, it's Celtic like much of my own Scotch/Irish and even German heritage.   Second, the Mother/child symbol is in memory of my own Mom, who I miss intensely.  Third, the Celtic Trinity symbol is intertwined within the mother/child hearts, reflecting my identity with Christ.

By the time Adiel picked me up for our adventure to Buddha's Tattoo Parlor, I understood my desire for a tattoo was more significant than some artistic whim.  A tattoo is a commitment.  It's permanent.  If my "bohemian" side is a simple streak, my desire for permanence and commitment is as wide as a six-lane highway.  I look at my tattoo as a "wedding ring" of sorts.  I look at it and know that I belong to someone.  I belong to the Celts.  To my mom.  To Jesus.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Battle Scarred Princess

There once was a princess on a journey to return to her home to be with her Father, the King.  All her brothers and sisters, princes and princesses in their own right were on the same journey, though they’d all been given different paths.  Their paths were fraught with danger and each had to fight many battles along the way but everyone was amply armed and provided for by their Father.  Their wise and wonderful King also made sure they gathered together one day each week for rest and renewal in each other’s company. 
This princess’ path, she travelled alone much of the time, with none of her brothers and sisters available for help.  It was frightening and very lonely but she tried to faithfully follow the path she’d been given. However, she tripped and fell many days.  Her path also forced her in to numerous battles where she sustained many bruises and hurts throughout the week.   By the time she met up with her family on their weekly R&R, she was weary and in great pain.  Her brothers and sisters were all happy to be together and shared stories of their adventures that week.  The princess listened and tried to rejoice with them and for them but she was so tired.  As her family danced and played around her, they often jostled and bumped in to her causing her great pain; bumping her bruises and opening wounds.  They did not intentionally hurt her, but It got so the princess could no longer leave her battle armor at the door, she had to wear it in to the place of sanctuary to keep from reinjuring herself.
The princess loved her family and deeply desired to be with them on these days of rest.  She attended them regularly because she knew it pleased and honored her beloved Father, and what she heard there helped her prepare for the battles in the coming week.  But these meetings were painful and carrying her armor seven days a week with no respite was exhausting her.  Her arms were weak having to hold up her shield and sword so much.  Her head hurt wearing the helmet every day.  And her feet were aching and weakening having to stand battle ready all the time, with little opportunity for rest.  As the day for the weekly family gatherings drew near, she would start to dread the meetings.  Her defenses would start to rise, her anxiety heightened, her resent at being alone to fend for herself grew.  The mornings of each  gathering day, she would prepare but anger and rage would build inside her because she was in such pain.  There was no escape from the suffering and she was afraid she would no longer be able to wield her armor for battle.  Then she’d be overcome by the enemy and would never get home to her Father. 

(I don’t know how to end this story.  I seek solutions but no one really has any.)