Somewhere along the line of the past year or so, I’ve stopped being so attached to material and tangible things.
I definitely wouldn’t say absolutely immune to them; I love my new Augustine skirt Deb bought me (well she said to share but it’s in my wardrobe), my phone is my right hand man and I have a collection of rings I wear on each finger (I left them at home to be safe guarded while I’m here). But instead of complete and utter devastation at losing a loved item, instead of the reaction of old I’ve started to find I give a nonchalant shrug and an “Oh well”. (Missing Macpac on day of departure excluded, dear parents).
My most precious possession is my Nanna’s necklace she always wore bearing a cross, a Mary pendant and one of her rings. Other than that and my photo albums, I’m finding I’m slowly losing emotional and intense love for items of clothing and such.
(Further exclusion: the Powerade bottle that Deb got me at the airport before I left. When I am a bit nervy and on edge, I find I develop sentimental attachments to absurd items. This bottle – currently sipping from now – has become a silly link to home so I can’t bear to throw it away even though it’s getting scungy. The other day I left it at a tapestry store in a nearby town and I was gutted. I returned three days later and the beautiful man had kept it in case I should return. My heart swelled when we were reacquainted – bottle and I that is, though I had major heart for the man and his actions.)
Instead, I find peace and major attachment to my tattoos, little drawings that can never be lost or erased. I have six little ones scattered about my body, each signifying an important person or aspect of me. Whenever I catch sight of one I instantly am propelled back to memories or thoughts of a person that being such comfort.
I got this tattoo two days after I turned 18. Hank hates tattoos, and I remember calling him to announce I’d gotten one and his silent fury radiating down the phone. A few hours later, I was joyfully walking to work when I saw his Holden racing down the street towards me. I absolutely shat myself. He just grabbed my wrist, looked at it, then drove off without a word (it was a different story with the Schnauzer tattoo – that prompted a near smile).
This one signifies my grandfather. All us grand kids called him “Bangpa” as when my older brother was little he couldn’t formulate “Grandpa” with his tongue. So Bangpa stuck. Until I was 14, I thought it was “Bampga”, so this was my own personal name for him.
He was a brilliant writer, full of wit and vocabulary. He loved that I wrote too and was always so proud that I talked of being a journalist. I wish he’d been there to see me graduate. This tattoo is actually in his hand writing, taken off an old birthday card he’d written me. I have it on my right wrist, being the hand I write with. It catches my eye plentiful times in any given day and I am always transported back to such fond memories and thoughts of this spectacular man.
The One Done in Haste
Now this tattoo I don’t actually like much at all. I was 18, and I’d got it into my head that I wanted one for each of my grandparents. You know how people say to really really consider and be sure of a tattoo before you get inked? Yeah, nah. I saw this flower outline online and thought it was rad; went to enquire how much it would cost and well look at that, there was a free appointment then and there.
My Opa (grandad) is really into gardening. I’m Anneke Poppy Rose. I love flowers. Let’s get a flower! Unfortunately, poppy tattoos heavily resemble vaginas and the standard rose always makes me think of heavy rock, so finding this stencil has me super stoked. I don’t hate it; I just kinda wish I didn’t have it. I ended up getting a different one for Opa, so it really denotes nothing bar: think before you act.
My Opa and I share a birthday; September 6, the greatest day of the calender year. We’ve has every single bar one birthday together, being his 70th when he was off galavanting with his zillions of brothers and sister in Holland (well 14, but still so many).
You may have worked out that my Solo Sojourn dates coincide with our birthday this year and I shall be away for it. I’m feeling pretty sad as the day draws nearer. But I know Opa will be happy thinking of me trekking up Mt Everest as he blows out the candles on our cake.
I had the bright idea of getting our birthday as a marking of him. And in Dutch, I thought. So I went to some Dutch friends and asked how September was spelt in the Netherlandic language: “S E P T E M B E R,” they replied. So it’s in Dutch ok? (Just go with it). It is located on my left rib just under my heart.
For the Whatman Wortman Women
(Apologies for blurriness; HDR just can’t capture the essence of this baby despite numerous attempts).
When I think of my Nanna and my Babcia, I think food + church. Hi ho, knife and fork in a cross! I was quite chuffed with my brilliance on this one. It is situated only right side, about a hand width under my armpit. I like it because it’s mainly covered, but peers out now and then depending what I’m wearing.
I Heart Deb
Our house has hearts all over the show. Not tacky ones I can assure you, they are totally tasteful, but Deb just loves ’em. So what better symbol for her than a little heart? On my left collarbone.
The Schnauzer, Signifying the Trio
Dad loves the dogs. Absolutely adores them. So for him, it was pretty obvious a choice (I didn’t fancy a bottle of bourbon bound on my body, and a water skier sleeve just wasn’t seeming the go). And it works in a quadruple whammy, because whenever I glimpse it on my inner left ankle I also think of Angus, Otto and the late, great Schultz Wortman as well.
Light – Guidance and Heartedness
I have always had an affinity with rainbows and the sun. Whenever I’m feeling sad or worried, a bintang rainbow radiates out of the clouds, or I look up at the sun and am instantly filled with equanimity and composure. Now I have this on my left elbow, I always press down on it with my fingers and close my eyes in times of stress and no shit, it truly calms me.
There’s so many more I want to get; there’s two I definitely will and a good number more that I need to carefully consider ( we don’t want another left wrist repeat). The definitions:
I have the greatest love for Harry Potter. I don’t think people realise the extent of my wizarding wonderment. I wanted to get this on my finger but have since decided to instead mark it on my ugly second toe.
I would love love love to bring my love of puns to life and get this baby on my big toe as well. Considering, considering. Though I think the humour may wear off after awhile and when I’m older I may curse the mid-20’s Pop.
This one somewhere as well. I was going to get a full on daisy chain on my left forearm but once again thought about saggy arms in old age and the subsequent dropping flowers. I love full tattoos on other people; some girls look sensationally sexy with their sleeves but it’s just not for me. So maybe another toe tattoo? More thinking to do.
One of my first words was turtle and whenever I talked to my Bampga on the phone, right up until he passed away, he’d always ask me to say it before we hung up. If I could think of a good spot on my limited canvas, I’d get this wee fella too.
When James was sick, our whole family had Livestrong bands which we wore. Once again, my Bampga continued wearing his right up until he died. James has this tattooed on his inner arm. Yes I know all the Lance Armstrong performance enhancing controversy, yada yada yada, but to me there’s no links to that. It also holds the reminder to be strong, mentally and now physically. It’s how I want to live. I’d just need a sufficient spot to do it justice.
I flirted with the idea of getting a Russian Doll set on the back of my left shoulder, but the smallest they could do was far bigger than I wanted.
I love the idea of being like a picture book sporting the most important things to me all over my body. But in small, secluded spots so at first glance they wouldn’t be noticed. Hank will have a heart attack! But it’s for my own joy. Important things and love that can never be lost or erased (yes I know about laser you smartarse).