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Posts Tagged ‘tattoos’

At a dinner the other night, as often happens someone noticed one of my tattoos.

“Are you a big fan of auto racing, or something?”

Easy to spot, the Corvette racing flags on my right wrist could give the impression that I’m proud enough a sports fan to permanently ink a symbol into my skin, but as with all my tattoos the meaning goes much deeper.

At present count I have eight tatts, not one a butterfly, fairy, tribal strip, Celtic symbol, dragon or anything else lifted from the Great Book of Body Art folks rifle through at tattoo parlors the world over, looking for something pretty … or pretty ugly … they’d like to live with for the rest of their days.

My ink IS my flesh.

The first tattoo I had done is of a heart. It’s on my ankle. I got it in Singapore after being released from hospital following yet another tinkering on my ticker as it seemed a spare might be a good idea. It’s red, heart-shaped, and includes very visible bypasses … a good representation of the one still beating in my chest. Below it, the Chinese character that translates to ‘long life’. Both of these were modified last year … a boom time for tatts on me … when Jaren’s name was inked into the heart, and my other children’s were written under Long Life.

I had a musical heart done after anther hospital visit in Singapore. (And, yes, there’s a symmetry to getting tattoos in that ancient port city where so many drunken sailors have been inked that appeals to me.) That was Ernesto-inspired, although he is no fan of ink. That’s what happens when I’m alone for such trauma and drama; I make a point of it … or a whole bunch of points as the case may be.

The racing flags I don’t consider a tattoo at all … it’s a scar.

After Jaren died many of his friends had the flags done on their bodies as a tribute to him. Mine are a tribute to those friends, and placed as they are a constant reminder of the love my boy gave and got … a touchstone, if you will.

My tribute to my son is across my upper back; four bars of his music that I am proud to wear. Somehow … and I’m not compelled to examine my motives on this … having this translatable bit of him on me makes it easier to carry the parts of him I miss so much in me.

I had two new tatts done for my birthday last month, both just for me … standards to bear leading me into the rest of my life.

On my right wrist:

Arcum tenderi Veratum decere

Although the explanation of this … two-thirds of a motto Karen Blixen, one of my literary heros, used to open “Out of Africa” … has long held deep significance for me, it’s the basic reminder to “shoot straight, write true” that has it in front of my face every day as I sit at my keyboard.

Running out of spaces on my body that can still hold ink without wrinkling or sagging, I resorted to a tramp stamp for my last tattoo, this one inspired by one a friend gave herself for her birthday.

Quoconque jeceris stabit

Which means: Whichever way you throw me I will stand. This curves over a wonky heart and proclaims my determination to make it through whatever life … and love … can toss in my path.

I’m well aware that wearing my heart so obviously on my sleeve … or wrist or leg or back or whatever … opens me to comments and questions. Sometimes I’m just … yeah, yeah … a big fan of snazzy Chevys, but there are occasions I welcome the opportunity to let my tattoos tell some of my story.

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Skyping Sis at the party ... A hoot and a half!

Skyping Sis at the party ... A hoot and a half!

The kids are with Mark this week, so not only do I not have to spend four hours a day driving to hell town and back … twice … I also get to stay up late and hang out with consenting adults.

More often that probably happens in the real world, this can result in spontaneous parties breaking out on my veranda. Last night was typical …

We went do dinner at Julian’s down on the beach to meet up with Nic, a former Brit Army Major, who was spending her last day in the country at Anse Soleil. Dinner was lovely, when she finally dragged her sand-covered ass up to the café, but didn’t last long enough.

A few others had joined us, so it ended up being eight of us … me, Stan, Andy, Clare, Nic, Christopher, Kim and Calina … trotting up to my place with beers and wine and the willingness to yack our heads off and laugh our asses off.

And, boy!, did we.

We showed each other our tattoos … Calina gets the prize !!! … swapped outrageous tales, kvetched about rising prices, sung the praises of tropical living, and a good time was had by all.

No few countries were represented … America, England, India, Germany, France, South Africa and Seychelles (Norway was missed, though, because Magnar is ill, poor baby.) … so it was, indeed, an international affair as most on this island are.

The scope broadened considerably when my skype rang and at the other end, and from the other side of the planet, my sister, Jo, joined the party. (She’s a Kiwi living in Washington, so another country heard from.)

Video skyping is always cool, and when the result of this whizzy techno-stuff is another guest at a party … well, it was amazing.

My sis is funny. Really, really funny. (She is SO my sister!) So, when everyone ended up crowded around my computer and began to wet themselves laughing, I was not one bit surprised.

The only thing missing was music … I really need to find a roving band that does deliveries …

It was, again, a wonderful night, one that had me buzzing so much that I stayed up ’til 4:30 in the morning … Stan was a hammock lump by 1-ish, bless ‘im … IMing my heart out.

Ah … island life …

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The birds are singing, the sun is shining and all’s right with this part of the world. All’s also just a wee bit strange … no surprise.

I spent more than 5 hours skyping with my sis … we’re trying to decide on matching tattoos, amongst other topics … and am now watching Magnar chew up the dirt on my drive with a big, purple machine. (Wish the kids were here for this, as they’d be totally captivated. They are already taken with Magnar, but watching him swing that big bucket around would totally impress.)

We’ll be off to Antonio’s for dinner … I’m taking Magnar out in gratitude for him taking his Sunday to make my road safe for my new car … a cafe carved out of rock with a pirate ship in front of it, and since I’ve been so busy doing strange and wonderful things, I’m getting out of writing a lot by posting photos.

Enjoy!

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