I decided to get a tattoo on Saturday morning. I already have three. One on my lower back, the nape of my neck and one on the “trapezium”muscle on the side of my neck. My sister was not amused by this seemingly sudden decision, but was it really?
I have had this particular tattoo on my mind for at least six months now. You can ask anyone with tattoos, that they have at least one new tattoo that they would like to add to the existing one/s. Tattoo’s or more so the process of getting a tattoo is addictive.
From my own experience, from the stenciling of the tattoo, to the first bite of the needle into flesh, to the exquisite pain of having the outlines done to the dull ache of shading in, the pain is just as much a part of the process, and as the endorphines flood your system a sense of calm and tranquility come over you, so that at the end of the process you are in state of bliss, similar to being high on other substances.
Is it really an addiction? I consider an addiction something done in excess and hazardous to your health. As far as I know, and I stand to be corrected, but no one has died getting a tattoo(granted the neccessary health and safety procedures have been followed). And is it really so bad to be “adorned” with body art. In many cultures tattoos are a sign of strength, courage, maturity and honour. Yes, you do get prison tatts, gang tatts, etc but even here these are part of an initiation.
For me, not only is tattooing an artform, but a map, or documentation of my life. A way to express myself, perhaps even more so than my writing does, because a tattoo is intimate, it is something that you wear proudly on your flesh, it is not only a part of you, but it is you.
It’s your dreams and aspirations, your children, your family, your rebellion, loves lost and loves found, their your inspiration, your interests and hobbies.
You will always remember what, where, when and why you got each tattoo. What state of mind you were in when you got it and whom you were with. Tattooing is the hardcore form of scrapbooking.
So, my sister was not amused by the fact that I wanted to get another tattoo, s0 she called my mother up and told her in no uncertain terms that I had lost it and was about to get another tattoo. My mother has never been fond of tattoo’s, the last one I got she said was a “tramp stamp” until she saw that I had had my daughter’s name done. My sister has one tattoo and my brother has three. So my mother on hearing I was going for my fourth one asked if she could speak to me. I was waiting for to lecture.
But to my surprise not only did my mother ask what was getting, she suggested a few alternatives to the stars I wanted.
I was able to arrange an appointment that same morning with Aubrey Rudman from Style Ink Tattoo’s to do my latest “artwork”. Off we went and had it designed, where even my daughter, at the age of three and half suggested I colour two of the stars in pink and blue. Now there is no arguing with child so I did as I was told.
Stars have always represented to me the search for truth, to always reach high, that nothing is not accomplishable. That no matter how bleak or cold or dark it is, there are always stars to guide you on your journey through life.
And why Seven stars? Well in Hebrew, the number seven is from the root word meaning complete or full. Seven is linked to spiritual perfecion, which is what we all strive for. Apparently your body completely renews itself every seven years. I’m 28 now, a derivative of seven. Seven also in some cultures means study or knowledge.
And why on my ribs, well why not?
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.