A second coat of ink
Drove up to Indianapolis yesterday to have brunch with step-daughter #2 (wedding planning!) and to get a second coat of ink on the newest section of tattoo. Dina, the tattoo artist (artisan?) at Voluta said that the additional application makes the colors really pop. The blues will be bluer, the purples purplier, the little red leaves more irridescent. Right now, I’m smearing Curel on my arm 4 times a day to help with the aftershock of the procedures and to keep things moist & happy. Tattoos do involve needles, but the healing process feels a whole lot more like you burned your tongue on really hot coffee than the annoying ache of a simple flu shot.
The first tattoo machine was patented in the 1880s (give or take), and isn’t much different in principle than those used today: mechanical metal needles imprint ink into (onto?) the dermis (the layer of skin below what we touch, where reside sweat glands & collagen fibers) all powered by a hand-held, electrically powered dentist-drill-like gadget. The needle moves up and down anywhere from 80 – 150 times per second — which is why the process doesn’t feel even vaguely like any other needle experience (think: muted bee sting).
This round of inking was different than the last: I kept thinking ouch, she’s working on my arm. Not: ouch, she’s creating my tattoo. That’s when I realized that this tree of life/spiral/truth tableau finally feels part of me, not some imposed show-piece (like fancy jewelry). It has become an organic & integrated part of who I am, and that’s what I was shooting for all along.
I leave you with a quote about truth, for no good reason at all, from Pablo Picasso:
If there were only one truth, you couldn’t paint a hundred canvases on the same theme.