This past June, I got a tattoo: three ginkgo leaves that span nearly the length of my inner forearm. The leaves dance in an invisible breeze, and I love it. My mother-in-law believes it’s a temporary tattoo, one that will rub off with summer swims in Seattle-area waters of body—lakes, canals, chlorinated pools, Puget Sound. But no, it’s not going anywhere.
One of my dear friends and writing partners told me, “You know what I love most about your tattoo?” Without waiting for me to answer, she waved her hands in circles, palms open toward me, indicating my whole exterior: my Capri pants and gingham-checked blouse, probably my cross necklace too. “This,” she said. “This outfit and you and a tattoo. It doesn’t make sense in all the right ways.”
Getting a tattoo, however, was not about getting a tattoo. It was all about the ginkgo leaves. [Read more…]