Sunday, September 13, 2009

Inked: Another story, more ink (part 5)

Like Amelia, I have a couple tattoos. Some I would get again, some I wouldn't. Also like Amelia, these pieces have become a part of me both physically and personally.

Hebrew for God/Adonai/YHWH. This stems from my studies of religion and personal beliefs and it was my second tattoo. I've encountered some people who don't like it, in particular, a Jewish man who felt I was appropriating his religious beliefs for my own aesthetic purposes. I understand his viewpoint and I've been careful about the places where this tattoo is visible. However, I still really love it in relation to my next tattoo:

This tattoo mirrors my Adonai tattoo, one on the right wrist and one on the left. It reads "sophia" in Greek, or wisdom. I got this tattoo after completing my honors project in college, which was an 18 month process and resulted in a 70 page paper. The project led me to Divinity School and a really formative period in my life, so this encapsulates all of that. Also, sophia/wisdom represents a feminine aspect of God, based on passages in Proverbs 8. I feel it really balances with the Adonai tattoo, recognizing the destructive, patriarchial aspects of religion. It's probably the most explicitly feminist of my tattoos.

On my foot, this is a simple drawing of a peace dove by Salvador Dali. Right now, it's the only tattoo my mother will admit to liking. For me, this represents a lot of my politics and my worldview. Also, if I wiggle my toes, one of the wings looks like it's flapping.

I'm planning on altering a few of my tattoos, but am waiting and really thinking about my ideas. In the past, I didn't think it through as much as I should have, but I don't regret getting them. I have some script on my leg that says "family" in Latin; this I'm planning on modifying to become a tree with the current tattoo as the root system of the tree (get it, family tree?). My first tattoo is a small, simple Jesus fish on my back. I originally wanted the rebel symbol from Star Wars, but my mom really didn't like that and I felt guilty. So I switched to my other idea, the Jesus fish. Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have done the Star Wars symbol. Oh, well. I'm planning on altering the fish into a Celtic knot, which should be fairly easy to do.

Moral of the story: Really think about your design and love it. Wait 6 months. Rethink it. Wait another 6 months. THEN get your tattoo. Sit on a design for at least 6 months before getting it done.

Inked: one, two, three, four.


Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you guys are talking about your tattoos. I've wanted a tattoo for years, but have never been passionate enough about a design. I have a few piercings, and I love them.

Also, I smiled when I read "if I wiggle my toes, one of the wings looks like it's flapping." Bonus.

-Lindsay (same name, weird coincidence :D)

Amelia said...

I'm so glad you contributed to this series, Lindsay. :) I think all your tattoos are very interesting.

I especially enjoyed the advice you gave about sitting on a tattoo idea before getting it. I think this is something incredibly important. It's also nice to hear this from people who have gotten tattoos and are more relatable.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Lovely! I particularly like the first one.

Here is my last one, too.

FeministGal said...

i have two tattoos, both somewhat feminist. let me know if you'd like me to guest post about them on your blog :) - both very much fit the "personal is political" theme, esp since i'm jewish and we're "not supposed to" have tats.