Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Body art

A few people noticed the tattoo, of which you could only see a tiny part, in my last post. There were requests for details.

So, here is a photo I took of it last December when posting a picture of my first ever sock.

I've had the tattoo since late 1998. I got it with a friend. We spent weeks planning what we wanted. It was summer and I'd not long been home from my (almost) year in the US and UK. We told no one we were doing it and it was a fun thing to do together. I remember us sneaking into the tattoo place one hot December afternoon, feeling like we were doing something kind of naughty. I don't think 26 is too late to be a little rebellious, is it?

It's a Tree of Life and I stole it from singer Sarah McLachlan. She draws and also designs jewellery and I always loved this design of hers.

If you look closely it's got an eye in the middle of it but 9 years on, it's a little bit obscured. There's been speculation over the years that it's very gynocentric - some parts of it have called to mind, for some people, ovaries and wombs.

I don't know. It's there, for sure. But it's not why I chose it. I love trees. I feel a really strong connection to them and this was the nicest design of a tree I'd ever seen. The fact that it was a Tree of Life design also resonated for me.


In January 1999, three weeks after I got the tattoo, I met Sean on a Saturday afternoon at a BBQ. One of the first things he ever said to me was, 'So is that tattoo real?' For those who don't know much about tattooos, they can look a little fake when still new, even once the redness has disappeared. I told him yes it was and we discussed what it was. Then he showed me his tattoo and a friendship was born.

Two years later we both got tattoos together and sadly, I'm not so in love with the second one. I was less driven to choose something meaningful and I now regret the design as well as the location. It's on my upper arm and I feel it's not as nice. And it's in too obvious a location. I hate wearing singlet tops ever since a complete jerk at a work function said to me, 'Oh you must have thought you were so tough getting an arm tat.' I know, don't listen to jerks, but still, it's made me self conscious.

So, that's the story of my body art. I'm keen to see others and hear their stories.