October 7, 2007

Sun & Moon

When I was a senior in high school, I went to Key West for winter break. We saw the play Talking With: Confessions of Eleven Extraordinary Women written by Jane Martin.

One monologue was about a middle aged woman who led a desperately boring life, until one night after her divorce, she was accosted in a parking lot and her face sliced with a knife. Rather than getting plastic surgery, she realized for the first time people noticed her. The lights come up on stage & you see she is completely tattooed, she then describes the meaning of each one, and how her life was transformed from that moment.

This story struck me deep, and I got my first ink a week later, this sun above my hip bone, which has blurred and faded over time, despite being recolored twice. It was not until recently that I added the moon, who is so crisp in contrast. The moon image is from a label from a cigar box - "Double Happiness Brand Cigars".

I had the honor of performing Talking With on stage for three weeks when I was 23 and living in Northern Idaho (on the Canadian border, no less). The make up artist would paint my body each night, intertwining my tattoos with the ones from the play. So much fun, to become the character I admired.

And boy, do I get noticed. It's pretty rare that I show my tatts in public any more, I just don't really want that much attention (except here on my blog, don't get me wrong.) When I do show my colors, I love feeling a part of the freak show, and seeing who is brave enough to walk up and say just hi. It cracks me up how intimidated people are by my tattoos, when I am the sweetest, nicest, SHYEST person at heart. My body is an illuminated manuscript, and I love to share my stories.

When I see other folks with tattoos, I always take a moment to flash a smile, raise my eyebrows, and simply say, "Nice ink."

Sun by Julie Moon of Dragonmoon Tattoo Studio, Glen Burnie, MD, 1984
Moon by Robin Lovedog, Lovedog Tattoo Studio, Santa Cruz CA, 2003