Phoenix Rising

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo. I know…out of character…but now it seems something I might do. I have thought about it for awhile. My wife and my children all have a tattoo that is meaningful to each one of them. I haven’t found the tattoo I might feel had some meaning to me …so there has been no trip to the pain and ink factory for me.
But recently, since my heart surgery I have not felt a need, but a compulsion to get a tattoo. I have waited for the feeling to pass…I have kept my mind occupied to the max and loaded the storage units and box cars with new knowledge in an effort to crowd out the thought of intentionally exposing myself to needles dripping with ink and having them pushed into my skin, like a multi-needled sewing, machine leaving marks that would be with me for the rest of my life. (I can’t even dissuade myself with this argument.) It just feels like it is now something I want, maybe even need, to do.., not because anyone else has persuaded me to do it, just because I have thought on it for quite some time and the decision is the same…go ahead…but what to carry forever.
A Native American friend of mine recently told me that in Indian culture there are no coincidences…that all things have a connection and happen in our life for a reason. Most of this I can go along with and some of it I am still pondering…But.
I was wondering around an art show recently and ran across a flier hanging somewhere of a Phoenix Rising. Not in any style that I would choose to and decide to carry on my body for the extended period of time that a commitment to a tattoo would create, but the idea rising from the ashes is how I am feeling I am living the rest of my life. I have left part of myself behind…not totally though…I still like cabinetmaking but the physicality of it is taxing…I still like hiking but the knee replacement slows me down…and, well, surviving heart surgery has made me look at life differently. So I feel I am rising, but not from ashes but just to a new life. So the Phoenix Rising is close but not quite there.
A close friend of mine, Virginia Luka, a native of Palau, an island in the Polynesian triangle, graduated from Southern Oregon University this year and gave me an invitation to her graduation party. On the cover was a stylized turtle raising from the sea…another coincidence…MMMM. So there you have it. I have always felt a connection with the islands…can’t explain that one…a connection with the sea…once a Navy deep sea diver always a Navy deep sea diver…and a connection with the sea turtle, thoughtful looking, slow moving and long of life.
Now comes the design phase. I am glad that my new life is wrapped up in journalism so I know how to do the research on the design and photography so I know how to use CS6 and design my own tattoo. Once all that is complete I have to decide on a location on my body to have this piece of art permanently located. I’ll probably locate on the left side of my chest over my heart for several reasons. If there is going to be a tattoo on my body I want to be able to see it and enjoy it, it’s over my new heart and if it is located over my left pectoral muscle I’ll be sure to keep going to the gym to keep my body in shape so my Phoenix Rising won’t become Phoenix Sagging.
With all those decisions made I need to find a high quality tattoo artist to apply the art piece to my body and I need to search my reserves to find the nerve to have it done! But it can’t hurt more that knee replacement surgery or open heart surgery…or can it?


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