Tattoo Stories

September 13, 2013

Fear is the Path to the Dark Side

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Fear is the Path to the Dark Side

My first memory of a tattoo was as a small girl seeing a tattoo on my dads forearm. It was a pretty blue dove carrying a ribbon in its mouth that read Christine, my mom’s name. She had been in the hospital having me when he got it. I thought it was one of the sweetest gestures that someone could do for another. He had used his body as a way to show love, his body becoming a creative canvas.

I didn’t start getting tattoos until I started having life events of my own. Some positive, some negative but that is what makes them life events, right? Each tattoo that I got allowed me to heal, respect or show love for the person or event. I literally wear the events of my life for all to see and I wear them proudly because its these events that have shaped me into who I am.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is my favorite but also my most heartbreaking. My grandmother (best friend and idol) passed away a few years ago and it was the ultimate loss so the Very Hungry Caterpillar is doing what he needs to do to get to emerge as something new, something different, and something constantly growing on the other side. I used to really want the butterfly at the end of the book because it would symbolize my arrival to that mythical other side but now I am not so sure. Now if I ever got it I think I would stop striving as hard to get there so I am content.

The sparrow on my shoulder is for Chris, my ex-husband. It’s a soft, understated purple sparrow. This was exactly how my marriage was…sweet, soft and loving but just lacking any color. A life with soft muted colors isn’t the life I wanted for Chris or me. I wanted and felt that we deserved better. It was a bittersweet separation but I am proud to say that he is still one of my best friends to this day. I sometimes want to cover it up but instead I think I will just add a little color.

My Star Wars half sleeve is purely for me. It’s a way of representing the me I always wanted to share but never felt comfortable with. I was fearful of getting something that everyone loved or knew but meant so much to me personally. They are my favorite movies, the reason I refused to wear anything but braided buns in my hair till I was 8 and the reminder that just because we grow older doesn’t mean we lose the things that make us childlike. It reminds me of who I was and who I am .

My tattoos are the best reflection of me. When you meet me I am happy go lucky fun girl but once you get to know me I am a little guarded and serious. My tattoos have allowed me to display both sides of who I am. They have given me a creative canvas to display my life events.

Jamie Marose
(Smackenstein)

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