In July of 2013, I got a tattoo. It’s my second one; my first, an angel with my kids’ names in Greek and Hebrew, is on my back between my shoulder blades and stays hidden most of the time. But in July, I felt bold. I felt the need to mark everything 2013 had brought. This tattoo went on my left leg.
A blue butterfly, which is my family’s symbol for my brother’s life. He loved blue.
Wings as flames to represent my own voice in the world. I was inspired by Ursula K. LeGuin’s quote: “We are all volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. That’s what I want – to hear you erupting.” In 2013, I found the courage to say things I’ve never said before, to share thoughts and feelings without worrying so much about what people think. I imagine that voice as a flame, a light, and hopefully for some, a friendly warmth.
Wings as vines to represent the creative power of humans. I was, in particular, thinking of the creative power of women, and my own motherhood, wifehood, writing, and relationships. I imagined the ideas of love, grace, and creativity as a growing vine spreading through the world. I was inspired by this quote by Kim Edwards: “You live here, the stories all said, but you are filled with the breath of the Divine, and the world in your care is full of amazements.”
Baby footprints to represent my miscarriages – both the short lives of those babies and the pain I felt.
Left leg because I wear my wedding ring on my left side, too, and all that motherhood and creativity would not have happened without my husband. (And he has also been very understanding of me all year long, I might add. He has let me go through whatever I’ve needed to go through and has not balked when I said whatever I needed to say.)
The entire tattoo is a symbol of metamorphosis, change, and growth. While I feel like I’ve already been growing in 2013, I want it to continue. If I found my voice in 2013, in 2014 I want to find my wings. So here is my one word for 2014: GROW. May 2014 be my year of growth.
What is your one word this year?
You can link up and share your word here. Or you can tweet it using the hashtag #oneword365.
Many thanks to the folks at Needle Bent Tattoo for taking my idea and creating a beautiful design and tattoo!