January 18, 2012 by NH
Over Christmas I thought hard about getting a tattoo.
This was a mistake. I should have listened to my sister and just got the damned thing.
I was in Byron and I was celebrating the end of a long, hard year.
The tatt would be little, on the inside of my left forearm, in a place where I could see it and be reminded of that wonderful time, post thesis-submission, when my mind was beginning to open again, and my heart was beginning to slow again, as my body prepared for new adventures.
I was with the people I love most in the world, and I lived (and spent, and ate) without guilt.
In Byron, I swam in the ocean every day.
My sister and I played in the pool – really played, doing headstands and dolphins and whales and penguins.
At night, I’d lay in a deep bath and look at the stars while I shucked the sand from my body.
I was coming back to the world the way I always come back to the world: through the water.
I got a tan.
I bought the red shoes I’d been looking for for years.
I even bought a pair of pink shoes – plastic shoes – which make your feet smell like bubblegum.
I had a tarot reading, and a massage, and at the end of the session, the masseur took me by the shoulders and asked me how one so young has so much responsibility.
I hear this question often.
I expect a lot out of life, and to get it, I have to plan, and push, and sometimes bite off a lot more than I am capable of masticating. I carry stress with me the way I carry a dress on my body.
As I’ve written about before, I’m trying to slow down; I’m trying to stick with the pack rather than charging ahead, attempting to be the one to lead it, and inform it, and protect it.
But I am who I am.
Ever prudent, I got a quote for my planned, spur-of-the-minute tatt.
The tatt would have cost me $100.
My next tatt, the one I’m planning in my head, will be of waves – blue, frothing, which swirl in a circle.
I want it on my back, halfway down my spine.
Then I won’t need to leave the world, or come back to it, because I’ll always have the water with me.