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.

5 responses to “Tattoos and talismans

  1. The white circle tattoo, and the one of your signature, are the two tattoos I have that get the most response.. which is interesting since I have the octopus and its so large. People love hearing the story and think its such a beautiful idea, tattooing the protection onto your skin.

    ❤ jemesii

  2. I image your tattoo over your head, like a saint’s hallow. You describe so well “surviving” cancer patients and give us hope. I loved your pics Don’t look down and the best Now you see it, now you don’t. Congratulations. Funnythat an octopus bit me and left a little circle on my arm.
    Up at 4.30 after yesterday’s 4th cycle of Alimta
    fell great and searching for trips, I think we are going for 28 cruise Miami to San Diego and back touring Central America and Caribbean.
    Just finished reading The drunkard’s walk How randomness rules our lives. I also believe in luck and read statistics looking for potential good outcomes rather than by the particular results that actually occurred. Mlodinow demonstrates how many things in daily life are less reliable that we believe. He gives fresh insight into what is really meaningful and how we can make decisions based on a deeper truth.
    Keep marching forward because the best news is that since chance does play a role, one important factor is success is under our control: the number of at bats, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized.
    Thomas Edison said ” many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. Don’t!

  3. Guillermo, although I am sure that being bitten by an octopus wasn’t fun, the little circle it left is cool (and possibly lucky!). It sounds as if you are yet full of energy and plans and curiosity–all good things. You are reading some great stuff as well–and–I hope you have a wonderful time on your cruise. Linnea

  4. Was not fun for the octopus either, snorkeling in island Las Aves try it to still my lobster and ended as dinner in sailboat “Illusion”. I was the oldest crew in this 56″ sailboat, Jan to March 2005, carnival in Trinidad, Tobago and Venezuela private cabin and meals for $20 per day, rented car gallon of gas 8 cents! Luck was not a Lady and changed soon, in October found Lung cancer, my lung capacity was 120%, upper right lobe removed in Jan 2006, now middle lobe expanded, I am back to “normal”…

    Is life a dream or “Illusion”? In 1998, I was 60 and 3 years retired, crewed from Toronto to New York with a sailor that waited until 65 to retire and cruise around the world, after expending the winter in Florida returned in the spring by air and died home of stomach cancer, from dream to night mare.
    I appreciate to know as much as possible, time is precious, we have to smell the roses now! Can’t see or smell them 6′ under.

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