Maybe I wasn't really paying attention, or perhaps it is my newer appreciation for patterns (due to Zentangle)... but I have been noticing tattoos on more and more older women. I mean "older" as in "not teenagers." I always associated tattoos with tough, motorcycle guys and teenagers. You turn sixteen, get a tattoo and some body piercings... But, with the older women, is it more of a battle scar? Or is it like making notches on a prison wall to record the time passing?

The most amazing tattoo I have seen was on a dad in the Child Impact class one is forced to take when divorcing.  His entire arm was drawn and shaded with ink to look like it was mechanical. A robot arm of metal and wire. He might have been a poor excuse for a husband, but "wow" what a tattoo!

The womens tattoos I have seen are more predictable, bows and flowers. Pretty. But what justifies the pain of sticking needles into your skin?  I do have a fascination with the Mehndi henna tattoos that women wear in India. I would love to learn how to create those. But they are not permanent, just an intricate stain. I could imagine having permanent tattoos of some of those designs if they were henna colored - not the usual blue. I think my aversion to the classic blue tattoos comes from my own medical experiences. I have three blue-dot tattoos from radiation I had as a kid. I looked like I was jabbed three times, in the face, with a ball-point pen. And I can remember, very clearly, how much it hurt to have the dye injected under my skin! I used to tell my friends that they were micro-tattoos and the designs could only be seen with a microscope. I guess I was a little bit "cool" too because I was the only twelve year old around with tattoos. Most of us were still begging for pierced ears!

Now that I am ... "older" and contemplating the mid-life crisis thing... a real tattoo seems so tame. I do consider having my blue dots turned into something more exciting, like an eye of Horus or a zendala. But I can't get past the needle-thing. So I stew in my cowardice and lack of self-confidence because I am now too old to rebel properly.

But, all is not lost! I may lack the courage to deface my... ah... face. But I realized that I have been tattooing my surroundings for years! Yes, bathroom floors, furniture, cows.... And since a divorce seems to scream for a new tattoo, I tackled my Living Room wall, just before the eye surgery. I covered (almost) the entire wall with chalkboard paint and then drew Zentangles around the edges. I will probably use this project in the next Zentangle book (!!!?) but I had to show it to you now. It still needs some shading and stuff, but my daughter (who is my biggest fan) was flattered and thrilled that I used her own tangle - "Lilah Beans" (the little people) on the right side of the mural. And she promptly grabbed the chalk and added her own creatures.

It's a bird. Yes, of course, you already knew that.
A tiny turtle!

So, I think for now I will stick with vandalising my stuff. But I will push myself to get some of those great water-slide temp-tattoos made.... hmmm...