I finally got my tattoo.
This journey began when I was about 18. I really wanted a tattoo. At that time, tattoos were still a sign that you were either a biker chick, a hooker, a jailbird, and only if you looked very exotic could it MAYBE be a tribal thing. It was a tabu, and my family would have been aghast.
Even though, I wanted to get the Hot Stuff the Red Devil from Caspar the Friendly Ghost tattooed on my stomach. Don’t ask.
Alas, the taboo and the fact that the only place to get one was the redlight district, it did not happen. It’s a good thing, he would have been sliced in half two years later when I had my car accident.
Fast forward about a lifetime. In the last 10 years or so, tattoos have become such a mainstream thing, you see them everywhere. Every day I would awe or cringe away from someone’s body art. I would make drawings, get ideas….but never found the person to do it.
I view a tattoo as a sacred, intimate thing. You are literally letting a person etch a permanent picture into your skin. I am amazed at how lackadaisical people can be, deciding in the moment to get a tattoo. Friends getting matching flowers (what if you don’t like the flower, or break up with the friend?), names of lovers, drunk group tattoos from a poster in the tattoo parlor, you get the picture.
I literally sat on this for YEARS!! Yes, YEARS. And I consider myself a pretty spontaneous person.
One day I walked into a tattoo parlor with my 18 year old daughter, because she wanted to get a nose ring (also a tabu in my time, but she would have passed, as she exotically gorgeous. My nose does not need any more attention, so it was not an issue) . In the sea of classic tattoo posters on the wall, and head to toe tatted people, for the first time I did not feel threatened. I was in a beautiful restored Victorian, buzzing with tattoo machines and happy people murmering.
While I was waiting, I began a conversation with Grimace, a tattoo artist. Me: White, suburban, middle aged witch who FINALLY wants to get her first tattoo. I felt like a 45 year old virgin.
When I told him what I wanted, he just let me finish, then said: “That is a lot of things for one area.”
Yes, well I have been collecting things to add to MY tattoo for about 30 years, Sir.
He convinced me to pick what was most important. I already moved my spot from my back (yes, that is where my life karma plays out, but then I can’t see it) to my shoulder. I made an appointment, and sent him about 1000 pictures of tattoos I collected over the years. Trees, wolves, moons, flowers, more flowers, herbs, witches, etc.
The day was finally here, and I almost chickened out. What if I don’t like it? What if it hurts? What if I don’t like it??????
I went. My picture as not done. I almost ran, but he showed me the wolf. It was perfect, I knew everything around it would just be too.
I sat and breathed, felt the pain, and almost cried happy tears because this was what I wanted for so long. I felt like the wolf, my guardian from the day I almost killed myself with my car on the Autobahn, was being brought out so I can have him by my side all the time. I thought about the morning I woke up a few years ago during tumultuous time, with a paw print red on my neck ( I took pictures of it before it vanished). The pain become almost rhythmic, and though present, I would call it meditative.
My daughter came with me as my anchor. Her face showed awe. I could not wait to see it.
Finally, after a few hours, it was finished.
Meet my wolf. We are one.