Last week I had a wonderful Wednesday of inkspotting, photographing four tattoos at lunch, and those of a fifth volunteer after work.
The run started with Audrey, whose tattooed wrist caught my eye in the plaza in front of Borders.
As it turns out, Audrey has both wrists done:
Her left wrist bears the slogan "Be Present" and the right wrist hosts a series of Roman numerals.
The "III.XX.MMVIII" refers to her sobriety date, 3/20/2008. I asked her then, if the phrase "Be Present" was from program literature. She acknowledged that it was and said she had no issue with my sharing these tattoos here on the blog.
When I asked if she found that her ink gave her strength in recovery, she nodded and said that the phrase makes her "mindul of what I'm doing in any given moment".
And the date? "It keeps me from making mistakes," she added.
These are two of her four tattoos. Recollecting my wife Melanie's surprise at the pain she experienced from the "13" on her inner wrist (recalled here), I asked Audrey if these strings of letters had been particularly painful. She smiled and said, "No, actually, it kinda tickled".
She could not recall the name of the artist that did these tattoos, but she did confirm they were inked at Lucky Dog Tattoos in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens.
It never ceases to amaze me how people use tattoos not only to decorate their bodies, but to give themselves the tools for survival. Whether it be a memorial piece that exudes comfort in periods of loss, or anchors used to ground the individual as they face the challenges of daily life, the tattoo can often be the center that makes life more bearable, that makes living each day a more pleasurable experience.
Thanks to Audrey for sharing these particularly personal tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!