Tattoos and Trust Falls
When I was 9 years old I decided I wanted to be a tattoo artist. I doodled all over my teddies, biro-ed my Barbies and spent hours drawing snakes and roses across myself in eye liner. What was it about tattoos that had me transfixed? The stories they tell.
To me the perfect tattoo is the ultimate balance of art and meaning. The curves of a shape illustrating the twists in our own narratives. The first design I created for myself was an ankle bracelet with an elephant charm to symbolise my family. The plan was to add charms with each milestone, life changing moment and memory which defined my story.
I gradually came to realise that this wasn't possible. Everyday is filled with decisions that change our lives; every moment should be worth a memory if you are living your life correctly. My ankle bracelet would have touched my knee before I was 20.
Today I had a design I've had in my mind for three years placed onto my body for the next however long I am around for. It is the product of several elements of myself that are infinitely precious to me.
I worked with the artist to capture 3 main elements: The art of JRR Tolkien (seen in the centre flower based on the original cover of The Silmarillion) which reminds me of my family and childhood, a compass to signify the journeys that await and the art of Brandon Boyd, whose music and use of lines continues to remind me to Make Myself.
To me, placing something on your body forever is a celebration of life and the experiences of the past, present and future. This tattoo isn't my first but it is the first I have placed in a visible location. It combines the external influences into a design which is so damn Terri perfectly.
It will remind me to follow my dreams and enjoy the simple beauty well placed lines can provide. It will remind me of my family, my future full of adventures and the continuous quest to find joy in life wherever it can be found. It also looks freakin' cool.
I'm currently sat in a cafe drinking wine and smiling at the thought if the future whilst relishing the pain in my left arm. In this moment I am happy. Whatever happens I will look at my new tattoo and remember to trust in myself and the universe. I am in control of very little and that is just enough to keep things interesting. As to the question "What about when you're 90?", I'll worry about that when I get there.
After all, it's only a Trust Fall.
A Cafe in Soho, 28 July 2015