On Tattoos …

Listening to.

Tattoos are a funny thing, people seem to either love them or hate them, with only a few that actually ‘get them’. I have a fair few going right back to when I was fourteen. I am currently just working out the next one. The marking of the ending of Blue Earth, and a celebration of the next seven year timeline. [ My life fits neatly into seven year stretches. Last year was year one of the next seven year stretch. Interestingly in year one, I sold the business. I didn’t get around to tattooing until now though ] Anyway back to tattoos.

I remember wanting tattoos since I was really small, maybe around six or seven. I don’t know why, I didn’t know anyone who had any, but I just knew that I wanted them. I used to get my sister to draw dragons and various designs on me, using felt pen. At fourteen I hitched to London to see a Super Tramp concert, staying with the same sister. Walking past a tattoo shop, we looked into the window and there was the classic eagle. She asked if I wanted it, and I said yes. In no time I was having my first tattoo, underage, and what a buzz. [ It wasn’t the best idea, as my skin had not stopped growing. I had it redone years later having moved to London. Later again I covered it with something completley different, as I felt it dated me somehow. Of course, now, they are all the rage ]

Getting back to School a while later, it was pretty cool to be the only one with a tattoo, followed not long after with the piercing of both ears. I went for a long time with just the one tattoo, then eventually two decades later I got my second one. Then another long break, which ended when I met someone who really new his tattooing, whose thinking was more in terms of long term layout, meanings and significance. Mine have become a road map; my road map. Etched on me by various different artists. Heart ache, depression, happiness, grief and life. To most people they are just marks on the skin. For me it’s my life, albeit written in a code only I understand. I have never had one that I regretted, except maybe the eagle, but it still felt good to wear it for all those years.

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