Re: Back to a frequent confrontation: Mine's Real

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Posted by Kenzi on August 11, 2002 at 16:47:50:

In reply to: Back to a frequent confrontation: Mine's Real posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on August 10, 2002 at 22:24:09:

I wonder if this desire to prove ones self through the pain of
tattoing is a replacement for battle. There was a time when one
had to be strong and withstand pain in order to protect your
village against invaders so these attributes became admirable.
In our modern society (and also in previous times, but during
peacetime) sports came into being as a way to keep strong and
sharp and also to test your ability to withstand pain. Maybe
tattooing and piercing is an expression of this but for those who
can kick, run, bat, etc.

On another note, I have also hear from many older people that
they regret their tattoos. That doesn't mean that everyone will,
but it is interesting to see how people's attitudes about things
like that change as they get older.

I was talking with Nick about this and he believe he won't regret
getting a tattoo because even if he feels differently as he gets
older the tattoo will be a reminder or souvenir of that moment of
his life. It seems, given that, that there is room for both tattoos
AND henna; tattoos are for the long-term remembrance of
moments in one's life, where as henna is a short-term,
ephemeral homage to a moment in one's life; you can choose
which art will better reflect that moment.

After 9/11 I didn't do any henna for a while; at the 40 day mark
(the end of mourning according to the Moroccan tradition) I did
some henna, "peace and love" in arabic on my palm. That
henna was done at a transitional moment in my emotions about
a certain event and helped me turn that corner; henna was
perfect for that as it was a sort of key to unlock a door that I had to
go through. Once I was through I didn't really NEED that henna
design any more and I cn see it would not have been useful (for
me) to have that tattooed on me somewhere. Meanwhile others
in New York were having "9/11" or pictures of the World Trade
Center tattoed on them which was their expression of their
moment in time. Others were maybe writing a lot in their
journals or getting pregnant or quitting a job. Many different
rituals to mark the same event and each person finding the one
that resonated for them.

As I write that I wonder if those who got tattoed found something
in the pain that obliterated other pain that they were feeling, and
that would tie into what some cultures are doing when they go
through rituals of pain.


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