It’s been a busy week here in paradise.
I went out to Toronto this past week to work at a show, and was able to spend some time with my cousins in the process.
The funny thing about my father’s side of the family is that we were never particularly close. They have always lived far enough away that I only got to see them once every year or two growing up. We are relatively close in age (I’m the eldest) and have always had no problem getting along. I actually
see these cousins more often now that they are young adults and able to travel on their own. I’ve seen my cousin C at least twice a year for the past few years, and it’s remarkable how much we are alike. We have the same tacky sense of humor, the same morals, and very similar family problems. When my father left, he was one of the few people on my father’s side of the family who checked in regularly and actually broke the silence. I could write a master’s dissertation on my father’s side of the family and communication issues, the main issue being the lack thereof. I could compare the similarities, but I won’t – I’ll just say that C has, despite most odds, turned out to be a wonderful human being.
We always said we’d get family tattoos together, but I never thought we’d actually do it. However, we’ve all been living through some tumultuous times, and the timing was perfect – so C set up the appointments for us. It may be an unconventional way of bonding, but we are an unconventional family.
C, his sister Cee, and myself headed down to the local
tattoo shop to get inked up.I will admit I was very nervous.Nervous about placement, and nervous about it looking ugly. However, Chris and Luke at Good Point Tattoo in Oakville, ON did an amazing job on all of them.
Cee, my younger female cousin (and another amazing human being) opted to get hers done across her shoulder blades. I was really impressed at how she took the
pain. She didn’t move at all. She opted to get the english translation of our family motto – ‘Not without danger’. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the final product to show you as my camera died!
C’s design was by far the most introcate. Here we have a caladdgh, zombie hands and an anatomically human heart with the ‘Not without danger’ motto emblazoned across his forearm. Being tattoed on your forearm is a huge commitment – but I have no doubts that he will wear this proudly.
As for myself, I opted to get my very first tattoo somewhere conservative enough to keep it hidden, but somewhere I could show people
if I wanted to. I got it along the left side of my hip. I think it’s beautiful. For all of you beginners out7 there, I think it’s important for you to know that it really is quite a painful process. I really don’t suggest big, line-y designs if you have thin skin (which I apparently do have!).
While tattoos are quite popular these days, this truly was a symbolic and almost holistic process for the three of us. Despite our lives, we have managed to embrace the spirit of togetherness, and realize the importance of our connection. So many people come and go in life (fathers included), and I feel so lucky to be blood related to these wonderful people. I am so blessed to have them all, and we are now forever connected. The cool part is that we’ve started a trend within our band of cousins (there are 8 of us, but only 4 of us legally allowed to have tattoos) that will likely continue as the others come to be the legal age. Because we can be connected, even if those who connect us choose to stay in the dark.
Also, isn’t it a really awesome family motto? Non sine periculo – not without danger - is a constant reminder to take risks. I’m already feeling a little sassier and a lot readier to take on some carefully calculated risks.