I spent a good portion of my day today in Tiger's Eye Tattoos. My brother-in-law does all my work (and when I say all my work I mean my little fig tree with a flower and this latest one!). This tattoo started last summer right before my trip to Europe. I know you want to hear its story! So...
Miss Plume gives me The Bell Jar (by Sylvia Plath) to read. At one point in the story Joan has a dream. She dreams of a fig tree. The fig tree represents her life and on this fig tree and plump, juicy figs. Actually, here is the excerpt from the book -
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7
Here I was thinking of my life as a withered old fig tree and Jillian comes along and asks me to go to Europe with her. All I could think was that I am married and have a kid, there's no possible way I could just go to Europe for the guts of a month!
I did go (thank you John) and soaked up every bit of it. It made me realize that my life is not withered and by no means old. My fig tree still represents my life, but instead of figs that are missed opportunities, I add symbols that symbolize my accomplishments, my meaning for life.
Saying this, I only have a stephanotis flower (symbol of marriage), but I have more in the works. Shorter sessions work well for me and make me want to go back! This time though, I opted for a quote that is wrapped around my leg/ankle.
You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.
-excerpt from Jonathan Livingston Seagull