Diapers and Dragons

Thursday, June 18, 2009

There Was Some Excitement This Week After All

So here's my first full week off work in review (yeah, I know it's only Thursday, but that's ok).

Monday: Snuffle in misery on the couch. Watch bad daytime tv (no soap operas, but not much that was any better, trust me on that!) Drink much orange juice.

Tuesday: Snuffle in marginally less misery on the couch, but actually take a shower first. Hoist myself up in time to drag myself to my therapist for my first visit in over a month. My fault, not hers--I went into one of those I'm-gonna-just-huddle-in-misery stages where I avoided much of what would have been healthy for me, include seeing her. Snuffle my way through the session due to both the cold and tears. Go home and actually cook a real meal. Spend the rest of the evening on World of Warcraft soloing quests I never got around to doing before.

Wednesday: Actually get up with my alarm and drive off to help some friends lead 4th grade VBS (Vacation Bible School) at their church, which I was supposed to be doing Monday and Tuesday as well. Discover that I actually rather like 4th grade girls but that 4th grade boys pretty much just make me want to squash them. Also realize that many of my high school boys have apparently never developed beyond the 4th grade mentality. After a quick lunch at Arby's with friends and FoFs (Friends of Friends), race down the highway to get to the tattoo parlor in time to wait for twenty minutes for the artist to finally show up and give me a tattoo. Then drive up to daycare, pick up the kidlets, and return home in time for a very yummy tuna noodle casserole cooked by my bro. Again, play World of Warquest (raiding with other guild members this time) most of the night. Drink huge amounts of orange juice.

Thursday: Again, wake up to my alarm and take kids off to VBS, where....

What? Oh, you had a question? What was that I said a few sentences back? Wednesday afternoon?

Oh! The tattoo! You didn't know? Didn't I mention something about that before?

Yes, I am now officially inked. I have joined the ranks of the raging rebels. Grrr.

Truth be told, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for a looooooooooooong time, but never had the courage to do it. I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to pain and, especially, needles. Plus I never had something in mind worth making permanent.

But all that has changed. Well, not ALL. I'm still a wimp. Just less of one than I thought. There's a poem by Emily Dickinson that has come to mean a great deal to me over the years and even more so in the last six months.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
So I decided to get the first two lines tattooed along with an emerald green songbird, as a permanent reminder of several things: (1) hope is always there even in the darkest and direst of times, (2) grace is always there too, (3) the emerald is valuable because it is flawed--which means it's a natural rather than lab-created gem--and in imperfection we find strength and growth, and (4) everything worth having requires some pain and suffering.

I went to a brilliant tattoo artist (I'm not using that word lightly) who inked my hair stylist. He's so well-known and respected that he basically makes his own hours and rates--and there's a two or three month wait to get in. Not only is he amazing, he's very, very nice. Makes it a lot easier to spend a few hours in close proximity to someone, not to mention trust him with something so indelible. For the most part, I told him the elements I wanted (songbird, emerald green, the lines from the poem), and he came up with a unique concept. We spent the first 45 minutes or so fine-tuning the basic image (outline) until it was what I wanted, and then he began.

So what does it feel like? It's kind of like having a bad sunburn--not blistering bad, just really red--and having someone scratch it with their nail or a pin. Uncomfortable, but not unbearable. And after a while the skin gets sort of numb and you can't feel the pain so much anyhow. Now I have to keep it clean and put on A-D diaper cream (yeah, you read that right) for several days, then keep it well moisturized after that. It feels a bit like having a large but mild burn on my leg.

And the result...the result was well worth the wait, the cost, and the discomfort. Better by far than anything I imagined or hoped:

Please forgive the quality of the photo--this was taken on my cell phone. (I can't find the cord to upload pictures from the digital camera. Sigh.) The redness you see around the edges is just my irritated skin--that will fade.

So--what do you think?

12 bits of love:

Kathleen said...

Very pretty. And thank goodness...my eyes glanced ahead at the entire poem, and I thought you had to sit while the entire poem was inked on. Two lines--doable. All that--not so much.

Glad you're feeling better!

Beth said...

I remember that you mentioned tattoos back in March, but I NEVER imagined that you'd really get one. Good for you!

I'm not a big tattoo fan, but yours is really well done. The script and the bird are both lovely.


mom said...

I love the poem and the reasons you chose the poem and the bird . . . the colors are SO you . . . and I'm actually glad you've made such a permanent and hopeful statement. May you always rest under the shade of his wings. Hope tomorrow is another better day and that VBS goes well -- are your kids going?? Love you.

Arby said...

I was half-expecting a tattoo of a 4th grade boy facedown with a pair of stilettos stuck in his back. :)Nice artwork.

formerstudent said...

The tattoo looks great, enjoy! :)

oreneta said...

That guy is really good! I am most impressed.

Lauren said...

Brave soul.

Aludra said...

Hehe nice tatt. I have the same problems with tattoos that you so recently had. I can't come up with anything original and permanent enough to print on my body. My friends all got there first. Infinity symbol, "Only Human", and so forth. Gratz on yours!

Dad said...

The tattoo is beautiful as is the poem and the you! Love you.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling so crummy. When I'm sick and stay home I sleep and watch the soaps too :)

GingerB said...

You so wild and crazy! Since your blog is clean, I will just say "Oh my heck!" It is beautiful. The colors available for tats certainly have come a long way, haven't they? Brilliant blue and gorgeous green. You are much, much tougher than I am. I am just glad AI didn't get tatoos when I was a nutty teenaged punkrocker or I'd have anarchy on one arm and peace on the other. Hrrumph.

sAm said...

That is beautiful - congrats! Glad to hear you're feeling better.

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