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.

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