Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bliss in the Is... and other tattoos.

Mix Sweet Shop
12oz Soy Chai

That ellipsis was deliberate.  Because that's the way I had that phrase tattooed onto my wrist yesterday.  Because there is much more imbued in those words than just the literal definitions of the words you see.  And since I'm going to be explaining what the hell that's supposed to mean for the rest of my life, I thought I'd start with the handful of you who read this.

My short response will be, "It's another way of saying 'live in the moment,' 'be present,' that kind of thing..."  But there is a reason I chose this phrase and not any of those others.  To begin with, it's a challenge to see what really Is, honestly, no excuses.  It's about seeing your own motivations behind your actions and emotions.  It's about keeping things in perspective, counting your blessings, that sort of thing.  It is about first coming to terms with things as they are and accepting that they are.  Not what they are - that they are.

Accepting that the Is is does not make what Is acceptable.  Things often need to be changed, sometimes drastically so.  But you can't fix something if you don't understand the truth of it.  And, as with the pain of childbirth, or the pain of getting a tattoo (especially on your wrist), sometimes the only way to deal with the pain you're in is to stop fighting it and learn how to ride it out. 

Deep, full, even breaths... peaceful imagery... and clocks seem to work for me, too, for some reason...

"Bliss in the Is" also means that happiness only happens in the present.  I've heard this stated in different ways but, ultimately, you can't spend your life waiting for something to happen -  waiting for more money, a different town, a different domicile, a better car... waiting for "the big break" or, worse, "the one" to complete you.  You can't conditionalize your happiness.  You rob your life of joy if you give your happiness over to a time that does not now, and may not ever, exist.

So you don't stop trying to improve the Is.  You must first know how you really feel about what is and what will actually make things better.  But you will never have happiness in the present if you don't allow it to be there.

All easier said than done.  That's why I chose to remind myself in post-it form... forever.  Or until I go back and have it all remade into some kind of tribal wristband.

I promise I won't do that.  No barbwire, either.  You have my word.

As for the rest of the work I had done yesterday... 

To compliment the "Bliss" phrase on my left wrist, I had a line from a Henry Rollins song ("Starve") tattooed on my right wrist: "I kiss my fear on the mouth."  No ellipsis on that one.  It's pretty decisive - it needs no further explanation.

On that same hand, to compliment the blue moon already tattooed on my left hand, which represents my name, I had a sun tattooed to represent my boys - the source of light in my life, so to speak.  But not just any sun.  This sun has a story...

I mentioned a little while ago that I would thank Moby, if I ever met him, for being the catalyst that brought my husband and I together.  Well, that kicked off an idea, and I ended up writing him a letter asking him to be the one to draw the sun that I would get tattooed.  Then I didn't know where to send it.  So, I ended up reaching out to old moby-boardie friends and two of them (Hi, Debbie! Hi, Ed!) became my sun-doodle advocates.  They met up with said rockstar  last month and - ta-da! - he doodled, not just one sun, but two suns.  And now I have one of those two tattooed on my right hand.  (I now refer to it as the "rock star hand"... but just in my head...)

This is the doodle... :)

Now, why not tattoo both suns?  Well, that was my first intent.  But in the chair I realized that the placement of the second sun (on the inside of my wrist) would be extremely painful and I was feeling shaky again.  I'm pretty sure I was just chilly, but my body is clearly wonky right now, and I prudently decided that I didn't want to push my limits.  Plus, I'm still ambivalent about the overall design on my wrist, so it gives me some time to live with it before I decide on the final details.

Okay, I admit it - I have commitment issues.

At any rate, I'm happy with what I got.  It feels more complete now, though, as with the crescent moon and star tattoo that has caused some people to question if I was, in fact, born in Turkey, it comes with the consequence of befuddling some folks.  So be it.  I'll just have to work on my short answers.