Friday, January 18, 2013

A short trip in the way back machine . . .

January 4th, 2013 started as a day of running around, getting things done, including my first ever visit to Chipotle then coming home and dropping onto my bed to regroup.  It was 1923 hours and I was mentally wrestling with going back out to a local group meeting for Ham Radio operators, something from my past I've started toying with a bit. My heart however really wasn't in it.  The meeting was supposed to start at a location not terribly far from my house, I could have made it there had I left right then. But I was also considering going to bed really early and leaving the day behind me. I was just exhausted.  So I'm having the conversation with myself about going to the meeting, or going to bed when I had one of those moments of Satori.

Satori is the Zen concept of a moment of pure enlightenment, Nirvana if you will, or more commonly complete clarity and then you go back to whatever life was before you had that moment.  The thing about Satori is that like trauma, it changes you the instant it happens, and going back to what you were working on is often (but not always) rendered pointless.  This was one such moment.

Now we go even further back in the way back to 2003, a decade ago, when another such moment changed the course of my life forever.  I undertook some hypnotherapy to help me survive really hard times.  My husband had just had his first two heart attacks and my brother Jon had just died.  I was a complete mess, and wasn't really certain how I was going to survive the coming storm, or if I was even going to survive it.  Thus the hypnotherapy.  The law of unintended consequences basically says that do all the right things, for all the right reasons, and things will happen you could never have planned for or imagined.

That point in 2003 was like that.  In another moment of perfect clarity I saw a path split, one let to a happy, healthy, related tenth wedding anniversary three short years later, or to another funeral I couldn't afford to deal with emotionally.  My husband had the choice, take some decent healthy steps toward change and be around for our tenth, or take the other road and be dead before that point.

Regrettably 2006 came and left me a battered, abused, terrified widow fighting my own health issues and living in fear of my in-laws who BLAMED ME for my husband's death and served only to reinforce my Cassandra complex.  You know, Cassandra, the mythic figure from Greek history? She predicted the future, no believed her, and then she was cast out?  Anyway, by then I was already fighting hard to save my own life, and survive without knowing when, if, where, or even if I would land.  During that time, I developed a fascination with many things and had been toying with getting an Om tattoo on my wrist.  Over the years between then and Jan 4th, I'd inked myself using pens, markers, and even henna to see how it felt, and to see if I could stand the thought of living with it for the rest of my life.

Several times I self inked, each time changes came, each time served to reinforce the concept of having this a part of me forever.  Still I waffled, and eventually had stopped thinking about it because one of the places I talked to said it would be at least $100 dollars for the small bit of ink I wanted and they'd never heard of it.  The Om they said I'd have to bring them a drawing.  That was three or four years ago?  So I hadn't really given it much thought.

There is however energy, magic even, in symbolism, and one of the many, many reasons I'd considered getting the Om was a demarcation between my old life, and my new life.  Of course that would first require getting said new life first, and the criteria for that, included a bunch of health related issues I shall not bore you with.

Getting back to the Friday of the 4th however, there I was trying to decide to go out an socialize, or go to bed early.  Which is of course when a sudden flash of perfect clarity left me with the NEED to get that tattoo inked where I wanted it, right now.  That Friday night.  I suddenly felt refreshed, invigorated, ready, certain, and knowing intuitively that it wasn't going to cost what the first place claimed, but that even if it did, I NEEDED to do this now, that night.  I had to find a female artist in a decent place, to trust with the task of forever changing my body irreversibly, and I had to do it then.  Some time with my web browser, and few phone calls, including the place I'd been too years ago that said it was going to be $100 dollars, and I remembered driving past another place years ago that the name stuck with me because I thought it was funny.  Acme Body Art.  You know the place where while they work to ink you, Wylie Coyote drops a safe on you? Even my brother when I told him the name of the place said about the same thing.  But I thought I'd give them a call, see if they were still open, and if they had any female artists on staff.

Amber put me right at ease, answered my questions, and I speak more about her in my review both on Yelp, and here on my blog.

It was quite a change for me to leave the house on a Friday night, let alone head downtown, not to mention finding parking right across the street.  It was an amazing experience, and one I simply knew I had to do that night. I had no idea what it all meant, but it was an intuitive flash that left me knowing it was time, right then.  And I made it happen.  The money, time, and certainty in my heart and soul that this was not only something I could live with for the rest of my life, but needed to live with.

Tonight, it's exactly a two weeks later, and the blush so to speak has not left. It "healed" if that's the word for it, astonishingly quick, it didn't hurt at all when I had it done, hasn't hurt since then, and at most felt like I'd gotten a bit to much sun.  Now it doesn't even feel like that.  Just smooth, black skin that was once flesh colored.  I'm still so thrilled I finally did it.  It's in part, representative of my new life, and all the positive changes going on.  It's a reminder of then, and what not to do again, and it syncs me in with the universe better, as the Om is the fundamental frequency of this universe.  My home universe.  Or at least the one I'm living in now.  It's everything, past, present, future, now, all in one place.  It's full of deep meaning.  And it's something, almost a precious bit of jewelry I don't have to worry about losing. Ever.  No matter what happens for the rest of my life, that Om is going to be right there with me.

I've noticed over the last two weeks of living with it, I'm often seeing it out of the corner of my eye, and it helps remind me to stop, breath, and be.  The day after my tat went on, I'm once again at Chipotle eating my burrito and I enjoyed it even more, because I was reminded to be still, mindful as I eat, to savor the blessing of good food.  After years of avoiding Chipotle because of hype, I wanted something different that Friday and thought, okay, I'll try it. I am ever so glad I did.  The food is wonderful and they are a deeply "green" company mindful of such concepts of sustainability and organics.  It's good food, it tastes good, is good for you, and it's all done with sustainability and green culture in fact, not in name only.  They buy, whenever and wherever possible from local suppliers, use only meat grown to their exacting, organic, humane, free range/natural feed, specifications and pay farmers a premium for it, on purpose.  Because they only use specific cuts of meat, farmers are free to sell the rest as fully organic and make even more money of their work.

So Friday January 4th was a very full day, one with new experiences, things accomplished, and my first ever tattoo.  I'm already planning my next bit of ink for my left wrist which will be a Zen Enso of some kind. I'm still thinking about it.  Okay, maybe not such a short trip in the way back machine, but a worthwhile one.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

A tattoo is quite a statement though here in the UK it has almost become compulsory!

I have seen tattoos which are works of art, why would anyone aim for less. There is no symbol which I could choose for my skin though strangely if I ever encountered someone offering traditional hennaed designs I would sign up in a heartbeat.

Catching glimpses of yourself when you have made a positive change can be uplifting...