As anyone who knows me, and/or has played with me since, is aware I got my very first tattoo last June. The design was one that I had been muling over for many years and once I found the artist that I felt safe entrusting my flesh to, I let myself be inked.
I don’t regret my choice in the slightest, the piece came out even better than I had hoped and the physical discomfort, while notable, was temporary. However the piece is somewhat large, especially for a first tat. All total it involved three visits of roughly 3 1/2 hours each. I’m not a masochist, though I do have a pretty good pain threshold. And I like having my back played with, but there was nothing sexy about this sensation play.
Right before I went in for my first appointment a good friend, with many tattoos, had some inspiring words to share. I was having some very understandable panic over committing myself to so many hours of pain and of a type I’d never experienced before. His advice was to not see the experience as the needle putting something on me, but instead as pulling something out. That the design had been within me all along and that this was just the process of setting it free. A part of myself that I always knew was inside me, that I was finally ready to show to the world.
It still freakin hurt but it put me back into a spiritual head-space which is exactly what started me on the path to begin with.
I know plenty of people that have numerous tattoos. I also know a surprising number of folks(this is Seattle after all) who have no tattoos. I don’t know many folks who have just one.
But despite the small demographic I will stand among that last group. The piece I have was never meant to be the first of many, and that it took me over 30 years to get it should attest to the fact that it was not a spur of the moment decision or giving into any type of fad. I wanted one tattoo, this one, and I wanted it on my lower back, where it is. Ta Da! Done!
The following images are by Roger of Circle 23. I couldn’t pick a favorite so here’s four from the “best of” file. Feel free to vote for your favorite:
The flame like colors of the branch are because it is a Madrona, my favorite tree. They like to grow around coastlines and you often see them stretching out over the water. They are light seekers and they can follow what ever precarious path they need to find it by having very deep root structures. The waxing, full and waning moon are a triple Goddess symbol and denote her three faces/personas – Maiden, Mother and Crone.
The gifted artist responsible for translating my ideas to both paper and then flesh was Tina Bafaro. I can not recommend her highly enough, both for her skill and needle-side manner. But she books up very far in advance so contacting her a year ahead is not out of line.