unplanted

the plan–a lotus

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It’s *that* week. And I’m digging myself in on auto pilot, finding that plans are being made and that I’ve managed to survive at least one day of work so far. I’m taking Wednesday off. And Saturday. (Thursday’s my usual day off and I’ll only have to do a half day on Friday.) There’s no sense in pretending I’ll be able to function (and even if I could, why would I want to?). I’ve been struggling for weeks now to think of something to do (because they say I should make a plan) and it occurred to me this weekend that it’s time for the next tattoo. So I met with an artist yesterday and started work on this project.

I’m taking a very mindful, almost ritualistic, approach to it.

I’ve wanted a lotus blossom for some time. If you know anything about how the lotus grows, the meaning need not be explained. But there’s more to it than that. After seeing Ghost Dog (yet another movie I haven’t seen, but should, I know), Scott told me he wanted tattoos like the protagonist–one of which is a lotus blossom on his inner forearm. But, of course, Scott always said that tattoos on black people is like sky writing at night and he never got one. So there’s reason number 2–this will be a way to do something Scott would have done/might have done. At the very least, it’s a way of carrying around a symbol that meant quite a lot to him.

As for placement, I’ve decided on my chest–left of center, a little low. That’s the place it hurts the most, the place where I’ve experienced the most physical pain in the past year (it’s okay–just tendinitis caused by a high heart rate caused by anxiety–the drugs are doing a pretty good job of keeping it under control). When I got my last tat, I got it on an ankle that had suffered a bad strain. And it feels a lot better now. I’ve talked with some about the healing powers of tattoos and, whether it’s a real thing or not, I do believe in it.

Mostly, though, I believe in the notion of permanence, that I will, in a quite literal way, be wearing a mark of my loss forever. Throughout the past year I’ve expected some sort of change, a chasm, a scar, a loss of appendage–something. But none of those tangible changes occur naturally, I’ve found. That’s another thing I continue to struggle with: the fact that the world is still, in many respects, the same.

So tomorrow I go in for a tracing and to check on the final design. I’ll have the work done on Wednesday.

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Author: Kim Sharp

more later

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