Fresh ink

I made it through a good four decades of my life as a total cleanskin. I had always been interested in tattoos, but never got one for fear of how it would look when I was 80 and in a nursing home. Then time began to wear its tracks on my body and I thought, you know what? I’m going to change forever anyway. So last year I had a small tattoo inked on my left forearm.

You may notice I've also stopped biting my nails

What I really liked about my first ‘too is that it said something to me that was deeply personal and meaningful. Another idea that has become meaningful for me recently is the idea of harvesting. It’s true that I’ve spent a lot of my time as an adult ploughing, sowing, watering, fertilising, but haven’t really reaped much of a harvest. What I needed, I told myself, was to write the word HARVEST on the back of my hand to remind myself, the way you might write BUY TOOTHPASTE somewhere prominent when you’ve already forgotten it a hundred times.

And so here’s my new tattoo, which is the Viking rune for “harvest” (jera). It has all these lovely pagan resonances of seasons and time and agriculture, and the design is supposed to represent two scythes. I originally put it there as a reminder to harvest but, Viking magic being what it is (and remember, I don’t believe in magic except on days that I do), it’s actually a spell of sorts: to bring me my harvest. Let’s just say I’m being very careful what I sow of late.

I don’t know about tattoos. Lots of my friends have them, lots don’t. I don’t think tattoos mean you’re dangerous or cheap, nor sexy or cool. They just are what they are: a permanent mark on your body that says something to you or about you. I’m not ruling out a third. And if I do, dear reader, I’ll give you the whole story once again. Just as I’ll give the whole story to my grandchildren, when they’re sitting on my lap in the nursing home.

6 thoughts on “Fresh ink

  1. Wow! Looks good. I designed that rune based on another typographic rendition, myself. There’s another version in my latest book on the runes “The Book of Rune Secrets”. Glad you stopped by… 😉

  2. Yeah. The step from clean-skin to tattooed geek girl surely was an experience! But I agree that these things on our skin need to have meaning for us. I have friends who had their favourite characters etched onto their skin as reminders of their childhood nostalgia. And I admit that I cannot see the deep and personal meaning of a biker chick on a girl’s arm.

    What I like about yours, Kim, is that they are simple and can either be taken as a symbol for your soul or the mere flick of a pen.

    For me, my tattoo is a reminder for me to have the persistence of will in obtaining my most glorious sense of mental, physical, SOULFUL and spiritual, and even material being. And reading this, I’m thinking I might blog about mine now as well. 😉

  3. I love your new tat, Kim! What a wonderful symbol! Keep writing as you do and you will keep on harvesting…, success, admiration and adoring readers!
    I got my first – and so far only – tat at the ripe age of 55! it is a waxing moon crescent followed by a full moon followed by a waning moon crescent: Maiden Mother Crone!
    ps whatever happened with your Anglo-Saxon novel? I am her in the US where your books are very difficult to find.

  4. It is a great tattoo Kim, thank you for sharing. It nice how it links with your first one. I found this“Patience up to a point. Know your time, but work your wyrd always.” at Rune Secrets. A nice segue from one place in time to another.

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