List of Tattoos

Trauma warning: talks of cutting, but it’s mostly just about tattoos.

This is a list of all the tattoos that I want to get.  There’s sort of a theme.  Most of them are for covering up scars.  Sort of a renewal thing.  This is why some of them are in weird spots.  But I’m waiting until I’ve been stable for more than a month.  Not all of them are for covering up scars — I just really like tattoos.  I really like thinking about Older Ben.  I draw him a lot.  Let’s see, reoccurring themes are renewal, growth, breathing, stability, and trees.  I am a tree person.

Pine Tree With Roots.  This one I already have.  It’s on my ankle.  It’s super awesome!  The tree is from one of my favorite books, Paddle Whispers by Douglas Wood.  Right now it’s representing everything that my later tattoos will expand on.  It’s the Boundary Waters, where my heart lives.  You have to have roots and be grounded in order to grow up.  A tree never stops growing.  They spend their time breathing and growing and reaching.  Another Douglas Wood book, Things Trees Know, is like everything this tattoo means to me and what trees mean to me.  I hug trees.

Bands. Around my left wrist and around my right ankle, I am getting three solid black bands. Really simplistic.  These was are very specifically to cover up scars.  I really like the simplicity of it.  Just really straightforward. I guess it won’t really cover them up, because the eye would be more attracted to those spots, but it does guarantee that I wouldn’t ever ever cut there again.  (Ideally, I would never cut again anyway, but I can’t predict the places I’ll be in my future.)

Bird. This is from a Calvin and Hobbes strip. It would go on the inside of my right wrist. Calvin and Hobbes means a lot to me. I grew up with it.  Reading it at bedtime with my parents is how I learned how to read. The bird is sorta supposed to be about the brevity of life.  That life doesn’t make sense, but it is beautiful, and I need to enjoy it while I can. Being preoccupied with death, or with the bad things about life, just makes what time I have here less enjoyable.

Sleeve. I really want to get a full sleeve on my left arm. But I don’t have any real good solid ideas for what it would be. I’ve been thinking for a long time about getting a Strangler Fig wrapped around it. I think it would be super awesome. It would sorta represent Costa Rica, and the tropical rainforest research I like. But I haven’t been there too much, and I do need to leave space on my body for meaningful things that happen after I’m 20. My other idea is sort of a Jim Brandenburg collage, with loons and turtles and the northern lights.  This isn’t a real solid idea either.

Wolf Print. I want to get matching wolf paw prints on either elbow. It will just be the outline, and not exactly right on the elbow, cause that would hurt.  I’m sure it’ll hurt anyway, but I’d rather it not hurt more than necessary.  Since I don’t know what I’m doing on my left arm, I would probably just get the one on my right side first so I can leave the other side a blank campus.  I like wolves. I’m a dog person, in addition to a tree person. I’ve seen wolves more than a couple times in the Boundary Waters. They like to run like I do, and understand how much family means to me.

Awesome Massive Chest Tat. One of the above-mentioned themes was breathing.  That’s most what this tattoo is about. Breathing has been a really big thing through my life. I’ve always been a sick little asthmatic kid, and it pisses me off.  I always have to use my inhaler before I run or swim or anything. It then makes my breathing problems when I’m having a panic attack even worse. So, just for practical reasons, I have had to learn to step back and control my breathing. Just focusing on it helps a lot. Like trees. That’s what leaves are for, breathing. They breathe in the sun and carbon dioxide. I breathe in the sun and oxygen. It’s a pair of lungs, but instead of lung-y branch-y things, there are actual tree branches and leaves. It’s an aspen tree. This is what one of my good friends from school drew for me. It will also be a celebration of getting surgery and not having binding mess up my breathing anymore. I’m getting it a long time after I actually get the surgery, to save up money and to wait for scars to heal.
Pine Cones. This is my most recent tattoo idea. It’s mostly to cover up some scarring I have on my right thigh. It seemed like a weird place to have black bands, and I wanted something else. It’s going to be the end of a jack pine branch, with cones.  The cones of a jack pine are serotinous, which means that they don’t open unless they’re very high temperatures, usually in fire. It’s a phoenix thing, I guess, rising from the ashes. There won’t be any baby jack pines unless there’s something really destructive.

3 responses to “List of Tattoos

  1. This was a surreal post as none of the pictures of your prospective tattoos loaded. I had to imagine them by your description.

    I like the Calvin and Hobbes one best, I think… though I’m not sure which C&H bird you’re referring to. It could be the one where he finds the dead robin that hits the glass or it could be the one where he’s wearing feathers and is trying to fly.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about saving space for tattoos after you’re twenty.

    I thought about that when I got my first tattoo when I was 19. By the time I was older, I knew better.

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