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.