The Story of My Tattoo

I haven’t posted in quite a while, thinking I’d like to branch out to other writing topics that may not flow with the teaching & learning, academic vibe I’ve been fostering here.

So speaking of “branching out” ….

Photo on 7-21-17 at 9.52 AM #2 (1)

“Tattoos puncture and disrupt; what was once unseen appears” (Deborah Davidson, The Tattoo Project 2016:1).

What is that appears? Ostensibly, my tattoo is a willow branch, hopefully going a little bit with the anatomical flow of my arm and hand.  What people can see when a tattoo is visible is often just the shine of a story, the hint of meaning.  And even the question of why a tattoo is visible or when it’s visible, all share in the hidden meanings of body markings.

My tattoo is a reminder.  I’ve been forgetting a lot of things lately, losing track.  “Where did I leave off? What was I doing?” seem eternal questions as I enter a new era of life, poorly indicated by the term ‘aging.’ I wanted my tattoo to certainly be somewhere that I could see, but somewhere that even nagged at me a bit, that was insistent.  I use my hands constantly – on the keyboard, cooking, knitting, gesturing, and I see my tattoo now in all of these contexts.  What does it remind me of?

It reminds me of my childhood, climbing and playing under the two willow trees, one in the front yard and a larger embracing one in the far back yard. It reminds me of when the tree in the front had to be cut down and I hid in the bathroom for a morning weeping.  It reminds me of appreciating my sister’s daring, she could climb much higher than me. It reminds me of the happiness of three siblings playing, when there is always something to remember that wasn’t happy.

I felt creative and supported by love in and under the willow trees.  In this part of my life, I find myself returning to my creative core. My tattoo reminds me that I’m writer, a thinker, a maker.  I am a creator of good writing, beautiful knitting, and deeply nurturing relationships. The process of getting this tattoo, in a wonderful Ink shop run by women, was a rite of passage into a life where I am a grandmother, a published writer, a seasoned creator of the delicious and delightful.

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3 thoughts on “The Story of My Tattoo

  1. hrallis says:

    Both your story and your tattoo are beautiful and inspiring!❤️

    • Mitra Emad says:

      Thanks, Helen! Chatting with you yesterday helped me finally write the story, or at least a glimpse of it. Thanks for always listening with such a whole heart.

  2. Paula Pedersen says:

    Helen said it best! Thanks for posting Mitra. Your writing caused me to pause and reflect. Seems I had forgotten even that!

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