Daily Archives: August 17, 2009

Tattoos and talismans

L1000358  Linnea, tree, tattooI believe in luck.  Good luck and bad luck, and I have experienced both.  A bumper sticker popular several years ago was eloquent in it’s simplicity:  “Shit happens”. By definition, luck of either variety is largely out of our control. However, this doesn’t stop me from trying to attract luck of the positive kind.  To this end, I have several good luck charms, or talismans, in my possession.

One of these never leaves me, and is, in fact, tattooed between my shoulders.  It is a white circle, symbolic of protection.  When my big kids were small, I would draw an imaginary white circle around them whenever I was anxious or worried. It became my habit to extend this imaginary white circle around anyone whom I wanted to keep from harm.

Three summers ago, my son August and I went to the tattoo parlor together. This was not August’s first (or last) tattoo, but it was to be mine.  I felt we could both benefit from some additional protection at that time.  It was also a mother/son bonding experience.  The imagery was mine, but the medium (tattooing) was a page from his life.

My sister Bink helped us determine placement and size (by pressing a shot glass into my skin).  The woman at the front desk tried to talk me out of an all white tattoo, but that was what I wanted.  I had to sign a disclaimer saying that my tattoo would not be touched up if it faded, and I got my white circle.

In addition to August, my sister Bink now has a variation on the white circle, as do my niece Mesa, daughter Jemesii, and friend Sadie.   I don’t give it much thought, unless it provokes a curious question (which it often does).   I will sometimes trace my fingers along the circle, reminded of it’s purpose; comforted that it has my back.