Wednesday, July 15, 2009

an interim note: the story behind the tattoo

on the day before face's birthday, i got a tattoo to commemorate the birth of my child. i say "my child" because at about the midway point in our pregnancy i came across this quote that i thought really reflected the dedication i was feeling to whatever baby was going to be born, regardless of whether it was ichabod ebenezer(our boy name) or beatrix marie.

since even before my first little tattoo, a slightly bigger than quarter-sized star on the outside of my left forearm, i've wanted more tattoos. the main issue has always been having the disposable income to put towards what is, all at once, an expensive investment. it was hard to justify the hundreds of dollars it would cost to get tattooed when there were bills to pay or "better" ways to spend the money. i've always known what my tattoos will be, and i haven't changed my mind much over the fifteen-plus years i've been thinking about it. i've refined my ideas, but the placement and general design has remained the same, all while coming up with some new places and ideas along the way.

anyway, for her first christmas, bebe got me a gift certificate to the shop in our neighborhood, which also happens to be the premiere custom shop in the city. once i had the money, or at least the deposit, i started thinking in earnest about this tattoo i had pictured before bebe was born. i did some remedial sketches (i may be an ace hang-gliding brain surgeon, but i can't draw for shit) to fine tune what i wanted, and then made an appointment for a consult. what i had really wanted was to get the work done on her birthday, but scheduling conflicts didn't allow for that in the end.

so on july thirteenth, we all went together to get some work done. we tried bribing them to do a back piece on bebe(i was thinking "guernica"), but they just couldn't do it. morgan (who was really nice and accommodating) worked my sketch into shape. the image is of a simple starburst, and i liked the idea of starburst because it symbolized both our new little star being born, but also because the newer stars eclipse the older ones, at least in the very beginning. the quote is from Dante Alighieri. when he was a young man, he came across a lady many years his junior, but instantly fell in love with her. while their love was never to be realised, he immortalized her in the divine comedy as a benevolent guide through the nastier parts of the underworld. her name, coincidentally, was Beatrice.

"Behold, a Deity stronger than I, who coming, shall rule over me."

more birthday posts coming in about an hour or so...

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