Saturday, June 13, 2009

In search of some ink

I have a tattoo. Just one, on my shoulder, so I can easily cover it up. It was actually a birthday gift. My sister-in-law suggested it, and offered to pay, so we took a ride up to see a friend of ours who was working in a tattoo shop. I didn't know what I wanted, so I put my foot down on having anything done immediately - if I was going to have something etched permanently onto my body, I wanted it to be something of great meaning to me, not just a ladybug or a butterfly or anything like that. After some internet searching and the help of a talented and artistic friend, I ended up with this (please excuse my raggedy hair - it's not quite long enough for locks of love just yet, and forgive my messy bathroom, poor photography skills and ugly pajamas):

Mother and child, a tribute to my love of my vocation, my love for my children. A few months before I got the tattoo I had endured a miscarriage, so it had even more meaning for me. And I lost my mom while I was pregnant with Bella, so it could stand for my mother, her mother, anybody who is a mother or a child. I like it. And Bella likes it - she calls it 'our heart', since it's sort of heart shaped.

I have been feeling a hankering for a new tattoo for a while now. I'm not an ink addict - far from it, actually - I got the first tattoo about four years ago. I'd like to get another, so I'm trying to decide what I want to include in the design.

Disclaimer: I realize that some people dislike tattoos, and that some people dislike religious imagery in tattoo form. If so, you might be bothered by this post. The last thing I want to do is offend, so please consider this fair warning. I don't want any nasty e-mails, so please keep in mind that people can have differing opinions while still being respectful. If you would like an interesting perspective on the subject, browse over to this site: Religious Tattoos. The site is run by a Catholic father of four who happens to appreciate body art. Check out the tattoo pictures page, sorted by subject - it's fascinating, and if you visit the links page, you will find tattoo shops that tailor specifically to Christians.

My younger sister is one of the best Christians I know, and she has multiple tattoos. Some of which he had done while she was going through a bible college. She now has a bachelor's degree in theology.

My conversion to Catholicism was huge for me (as it is to everyone who does it, I'm sure). It was a big step, something I never thought I would do, and I discovered how much it meant to me and how much I wanted to do it when I was on the verge of not being allowed to move forward. I made it, though, and I want my tattoo to signify my faith, among other things. For starters:

I want a triquetra because it has all sorts of meaning - the Holy Trinity, obviously and mainly. Two sisters plus me equals three. I have two children with me and one I lost, for a total of three. I do realize that the triquetra can also be considered a pagan symbol, but that's not a problem for me because I look at it this way: it is going to be on my body, so what matters is what the symbol means to me. Both my sisters have triquetra tattoos, and we have long talked about all three of us having one, so I'm pretty sure my next inking will be of a triquetra in some way, shape or form:

BUT - I don't know if I want a thin line, a thicker line (like the one above), a double, or if I want the circled version. That's one decision to make.

Throughout my conversion to Catholicism I found myself drawn to the Holy Spirit, for a myriad of reasons, a lot of which are rather private. I wear a Holy Spirit medallion, all the time. So I would like to include a dove. I know, I know, the trinity symbol includes the Holy Spirit, but I'm giving an extra little shout-out. Maybe like one of the doves below:

So I have to decide which dove, and then where to put the dove. Inside the symbol? Outside? Above, below? Another decision. I'm thinking, though, that I would like the dove inside the lower left side of the triquetra.

I would also like to have something that represents the Blessed Mother and all that she represents. I can't decide on that one - maybe a fleur-de-lis, or the initials and crown, one of the two, as seen below:
I don't know which. Or where. Another decision. But I'm leaning towards a fleur-de-lis in the lower right hand section of the design - I like the blue and white one, above.

In the top section of the triquetra, I would like something for my kids - maybe little stars, maybe circles - one in pink (for Bella), one in blue (Bubba), and one in white (for the baby I lost).

And that leaves the center. Hmm...what's a girl to do? I could leave it blank. I was thinking I would like to do something for my mother, but I'm just not sure. And this is all up in the air, of course, because I could get this sketched out and it could look busy and terrible, or it would have to be huge to fit all that stuff inside of it and I'm not looking for a huge tattoo. Who knows, I might end up just doing the triquetra. So that's what I've been up to lately, mulling over tattoo options. You know, because I just don't have enough to do already. :-)

Happy weekend to all!


Aimee said...

I'm sure this will not help you at all, but I would have such a hard time deciding what to choose! I love the Blessed Mother ideas - you know I have a special devotion to her :)

I also really like the dove with the olive branch . . .

You know you have to show the finished product here, right?! ;)

Resa said...

As someone who has a dove tattooed on her already, allow me to make a outline only. Don't get it filled in. Mine is filled in to cover another tattoo, but I really don't care for it much. It being filled in isn't the only also looks more like a crow than a dove to me, but that's a whole other issue.

As for the trinity symbol, I like the double line - that is what I have, and I am incredibly glad I got it that way. (What kind does Jen have? I don't even know... I'm a bad sister.) Just check the lines - dumb place in Dothan gave me an extra line which made it not so continuous, but it's not so noticeable now. (When I got it colored in Pensacola, they did white over the bad line so it is not as obvious.)

Anyway, I'm excited for you! Can't wait to see what you decide on!

Jen said...

I typed "triquetra" into google images. That's where I found the basic image for my tattoo. Kas and I doctored it, and then John did some tweaking before he made it permanent. I fought and fought against the circle around the triquetra, but decided to go with it the day I had it done - it balanced everything out.

In mine, the triquetra continues out the top and forms two dragons - a male and female. In between is a little spiral baby dragon. It stands for a lot of things for me - my new family (hubby and son) coming out of my old (my sisters and I), among others. It's a multi-tasker! I can't embed a link to a pic here in the comments...I'll email the link to Val if she wants to share. :)

Laura said...

You opened my eyes to the thought that goes behind the whole tattoo thing.
I, like Aimee, like the dove/olive branch.