When I got a job at a tattoo shop, I promised myself I’d wait 6 months before getting any large tattoos, to make sure they were well-thought out and not based on the excitement of a new adventure. It’s been almost a year now. The one tattoo I’ve thought and thought about, since before I had any tattoos at all, was a lion. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, I love Narnia, and Aslan is my comfort when I’m feeling off. Having a lion on my body was something that I wanted as a reminder of hope, and protection, and love, and frisky behavior.
Problem was, I always felt like traditional style lions were too cartoon-y… not fierce enough to portray that feeling of protection. (aka I’ll rip your arms off your body if you hurt her) and realistic ones seemed too stoic. Not down to tumble around and be cuddly and loving when the time came. So I never got one.
A few months ago, I was at work and one of our artists came in carrying a sheet of flash he just completed. On it were these spotted, full of energy creatures that I just fell in love with. I asked Small Paul what they were. He says, “Oh, these? Shishis! Chinese Protection Lions.” Immediately, I knew what I wanted and made the appointment.
Months later, I have an outline. Small Paul is such an amazing artist. I’m so proud of this piece of art that he chose to share with me…. I know that sounds super sappy and I see 100s of people get tattooed a month, but it just speaks to me. When I look down at my leg, I’m reminded of a love that never fades, never goes away. Of protection, and of fun. It is perfect.
laughing, gasping for air.
you reach behind you and pull me closer,
all real, no fanfair.
catching my toe on the ground,
i fall, we tumble down.
rolling and rolling
getting lower, but so high;
and being alive.
the rise always triggers a descent;
decide to make it a journey or
games or pains;
run-arounds or running away…