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Posts Tagged ‘tatoo’

Tat Too?

It is true.  I have entered into the ranks of those who have been inked.  This past weekend I took the plunge and subjected my forearm to the ancient practice of tattooing.  A practice where people go to express their individuality by doing something that millions of others have done.  Tattooing, an act in which you pay someone money to take a needle covered in ink and stab it into your arm over and over and over again.

As we walked into the parlor, (really, it’s called a parlor,  I doubt that when little old ladies create their little parlors with doilies and ribbon candy they had in mind Lidia the tattooed lady serving tea, but here we are.), the walls are framed and decorated with tattoos from bodies past and present.  Each person’s choice etched out from stories of great personal  meaning to a night of drunken dares.  There are dragons and fish, eagles and tigers.  There was even a collage with guns and a cross.

The language was as colorful as the arms, necks, and faces doing the work.  Tattoos, often a sign of toughness, rites of passage, initiations… and in I walk to order my ink of choice.  I slapped my picture down on the counter like a man ordering apple juice at a biker bar.  “Good sir” I say, “I’d like to tattoo my daughters hand print on my arm”.  Yes, I am that burly.

Did it hurt?  Well, if you have read my other blogs, you will know that I have subjected myself to more painful and stupid things, so pain is relative.  Much less painful than the Hot Wing challenge or the last 6 miles of the 1/2 IronMan. It’s like a thousand ant bites without the poison.

Once strapped to the chair, and internally laughing at the site of severally tattooed people sterilizing everything, the artist placed the stencil of Sydney’s hand on my forearm, made sure that was where I wanted it placed and put his needles to work.  As I sat there exchanging small talk I began to think of the significance of the experience.  I have thought for a long time about what kind of tatoo I wanted and when we had Sydney I knew I wanted something to do with her.  It took three years, but I finally figured it out.

One night as I was watching TV, I didn’t realize that Sydney had gotten into her paints.  She is usually pretty good at keeping the paint on paper, but this night… not so much.  She came around the corner and yelled “surprise!” I looked over and thought I saw Mel Gibson in Braveheart, but it was just Sydney covered in green paint.  As I picked her up to wash her off, I soon discovered that the paint was not just on her.  There were little green foot prints on the, thankfully, wooden floor.  That was when I saw her hand print on the floor as well.  I knew then that I wanted Sydney’s print forever etched on me.

Her high energy, strong will, permanent joy, as well as the reminder that she is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh all play a part in it’s meaning.  Plus, I think it looks pretty dang awesome.  It is no secret that I am devoted to my daughter, for I know how fierce and protective I am and how much I love talking about her.  As I sat participating as a piece of canvass, enduring minor pain, I couldn’t help but hear God tell me, “If you think you know fierce love, how much more do you think I love you”.

As much as I have etched a print of Sydney’s hand on my arm, God desires me to be imprinted in Him.  Not just a sketch, by my life.  I don’t see this as selfish on his part, but an act of undying devotion to see me live.  The vibrancy I desire to see in the life of Sydney He wants even more so for me.  The question I ask myself is if I am willing to stop being the canvass and become the ink in which God creates.

As I sit on my back porch I see Sydney play with bugs and the dogs.  I see and hear birds and turtles.  My orange tree is finally ripe.  The works of his creation abound.  Why would I not subject myself to the work of the Divine artist, the true creator, the author of life.  May I be marked proudly on the arms of my God.

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