Is a tattoo for you?
My 16 year old son came to me the other day and said he wanted to get a tattoo. Of course he has to have my permission for this to be done and that brought up all sorts of things in me. Among other topics of discussion around this I did ask him to take a quiet moment and to tune in and see what his true intentions were for getting it done. If it was for ego, image or peer group acceptance than that was not enough for me to say yes. What he wanted to have done did represent something that was a passion for him and I can’t see that changing as it has been that way from a baby. Thankfully for the time being it has been put on the back burner so it gives me more time to explore my own thoughts and triggers around this.
Now it may be hypocritical as I have four tattoos and am planning on at least one more. I know that people get tattoos for a variety of reasons, mine have all marked a significant period in my life. Not one was purely for show or because I happen to like the image. My first one was at 21, I had left home and was travelling around Australia – it was my tattoo of independence and spontaneity. My second was at a time in my life when I was desperate to know who I was again, I felt like a tight rose bud, wanting to bloom and not having enough sun, space and support to do so ( I would like to change this one now). The third represented the worst and best time of my life, it means hope, dreams, love, fragrance, beauty. The fourth was illustrative of my spiritual journey and how far I felt I had come. Number five has been decided and is just waiting for the right time.
The history of tattoos shows that they have been an integral part of initiations, status, adornment, belonging and transitions for thousands of years. I know for me they have literally ‘marked’ my life’s journey. Not once have I regretted them and they are part of who I am. Are they for more son? Well I think he can decide that – when he turns 18. Like children they are a life long commitment.
I have to say, they fascinate me and I often wonder as I am glancing at them on other people whether like me there is a story behind them? Now that is a photographic book worth considering! I would love to know about your tattoo and the meaning behind it if you are willing to share.