It is 8am and I am fully awake. I have a ton of things to do.
Work out, call a friend about scheduling a time to practice improv, talk to my programmer (deadline!!!), see my nephew’s team play for the championship of their basketball tournament (insert proud uncle smile).
However, the biggest thing on my mind is the tattoo appointment I have at 2pm. It is not going to be one of those simple little things that can be completed in half an hour. Ohhh noooo… you see, these days, I do things big. If I am going to do something it has to be memorable.
I am getting a huge piece that will span a good part of the left side of my body. What will it include you ask? At the moment I would rather just share the pictures and maybe video than try to explain.
Which brings me to an even bigger question that I get a lot.
It’s simple really. In my time inhabiting this earth I have made a few big conclusions. One of those being that when I am old and gray, all I will have is My Story. That is all I will actually cherish and share when I meet people. (Although there is still that book and screenplay I will leave behind, hehe)
I imagine I will be one of those old men that will have a story for everything and can’t shut up. WAIT! I am that person now….
The way I see it, our bodies also tell a story. The scar on my forehead? Well, I got hit with a brick by some kid when I was younger. This scar under my left elbow? Oh, well that taught me how to use a box cutter properly when I was 15.
My Story, Our Story, History
I feel that my body is a canvas that I can and will use to tell the story of the man that was born in 75 by the name Natividad in Mexico. I will share my love for life, love, community, and family through the images and ink that the artist will permanently etch into my skin.
I actually already have 2 that I got when I was 20 (I think), so I know a bit about the pain involved. However, this piece is on a much larger scale and has a lot more of my heart and soul in it.
Someone asked me what kind of message this sends to my daughters? My smartass remark is that it will tell them that they will be able to do what they like when they are mature and old enough to make those decisions.
A large part of what I will have inked on my body revolves around the theme of family and community. These two little girls you see sprinkled around this site are my ultimate life passion.
I Do Have Suns
They are my suns around which I revolve. They are my sunshine.
I want them to know that no matter what happens, I love them and they are a part of me. Because I know there will come a time when I will get on their nerves and may think they hate me.
It will likely take over 4-5 sessions to finish this piece. One of the things I want them to see is their father actually getting the tattoo. I want them to be able to tell this story. I want them to remember how crazy/silly/stupid/amazing I was.
To hear them tell the stories about when they were younger right now is breathtaking to me. There are stories that they tell me repeatedly and they always start like this “Remember daddy when…”
Often the stories they share are not about the huge gifts I didn’t get them, but about how they loved it when I tickled them with my fuzzy beard on the bottom or their feet. Or how we just stared at each other and just made goofy faces.
These stories are all we have when you strip away all the nonsense. Stories of how I impacted their lives and influenced them. Some of the simplest things are remembered. I am tearing up as I type this (damnit!)
I can see them now when I am no longer able to speak telling their children what all the images mean on my body. I can hear them explaining my thought process to them when my grandchildren ask why I would do such a silly thing. I can feel their emotion when they tell them that I believed that my body is my canvas and my way to talk to them long after I am gone.
Ultimately, I AM not this body and will live on through the stories they tell and the lessons they pass on.
Feel free to post your thoughts or objections to what I am doing. I welcome them.
(If all goes well, I will be broadcasting the whole process through ustream. Thank you to @tatlovingchick for the idea. It all depends on whether I can convince the owner how this will be great for his shop. So be on the lookout 🙂