Four Symbols

On the symbolic day (to me) of 19 December 2018 at fifteen minutes before the clock struck ten that morning, I arrived at the tattoo shop. The tattoo artist wasn’t there yet, but I didn’t mind. This gave me the moments I needed to calm my nerves and have a cup of tea. There always is time for tea, right?

A couple of days earlier I had contact with the artist and told her that I wanted something added to the tattoo, and also that I have decided not to have it on my arm, but on my leg. She answered that the tattoo design would have to be slightly adjusted to be in proportion with the body part where I want it, and that adding an element was no problem.

So when she arrived, the first thing she did was to start adjusting the design. It took just more than half an hour for her to be happy with it before she showed it to me. I was happy too! It was time to get everything and then, an hour after my appointment started, I was in the chair, dress pulled up, tights dangling on one leg. I had to lie on my side, but twist back some so she could reach my left thigh. I immediately felt some discomfort in my lower back, on the right side, but decided to see how long I could manage to stay like this.

I managed it until she had done all the outlines. Then I asked whether it was okay if I turned on my back. It was.

Before she started tattooing she asked me whether I was ready for it. Of course I was. I knew it would hurt, and honestly, the places that hurt the most was when she colored the flowers. The rest hurt too — I won’t lie — but I could easily handle it. It was only with the flowers, close to the end, that I winced and wondered how long it would take before she was done.

During the tattooing my mind frequently jumped to my mom, which I don’t think is strange since this was the reason for the tattoo: in honor for my mom. I had to smile a couple of times, and I am smiling now too, when I thought about what Floss has written: my mom too would have been quite annoyed that I am using her as an excuse to have a tattoo done. But then again, I know she would have understood. This is who I am, the tattoo is my way of dealing with things, my way to never forget.

Ah, as if I would ever forget her…

The different elements in my tattoo are as follows:

  • An infinity cross for the fact that mom returned to her faith when she knew the end was near;
  • A heart incorporated with the cross, as symbol for the love in our family, love that was so evident when we learned how sick mom was;
  • Two orange flowers, which are clivia’s, because these were flowers mom had in her house and she treated them so well and was always so happy and proud when the plant bloomed;
  • A butterfly, which is the element I had added to the design, and this has everything to do with setting mom free.

The moment I saw the design on my leg I was already very happy with it.

Remembrance tattoo design
The design…

Upside down but all the black is done…

All black on the tattoo is done
This was my view…

After she had done the outlines, it was time to add some shading.

Shading is being added to the tattoo...
I love how the cross jumps out here, but not in the finished design…

I was even happier when she was done, as I loved that it was overall black, except for the butterfly and the flowers, which have colors that belong together. If you look at the color wheel, blue and orange are across from each other, which make them complementary colors and means they enhance each other.

I love how my tattoo turned out!

The final design
The final design… filled with symbols.

© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday

10 thoughts on “Four Symbols

  1. What a beautiful work it’s delicate and strong at the same time! (Drawing comparisons 😀) Your inclusion of the butterfly was/is a master (mistress?) stroke!

  2. WOW. I clicked on this from Wicked Wednesday because I liked the photo (of the outline of the tattoo, transferred on to you)… and your tattoo is indeed beautiful in the way it turned out. Your narrative is what really drew me in though, there’s a kind of reverence to the way you describe the process. It’s very touching and a pleasure to read.

  3. Oh Marie that is gorgeous !
    I’ve mentioned before how I could never handle the pain . . . and not normally a tattoo person . . . but yours are simply amazing and this addition is beautiful !!!
    Xxx – K

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