Several years ago when the TLC show Miami Ink made its debut I was fascinated. The 'tattoo people' where always those that should be avoided. That was the wisdom growing up. Tattoo wearers were ruffians, bad people.
Miami Ink gave a face to a world most people have no idea about. And then, there was the artwork. Most tattoos I had encountered in my lifetime were crude and primitive, not much more than a wiggly line scratched in the sand. But the tattoos from Miami Ink were pure artwork and these were surrounded by stories from real people. What these men could do with ink and a needle would rival works from the masters of the art world. As the show grew in popularity it seemed becoming inked exploded in the everyday world.
Sadly, some of that lost its luster for me the other day, or at least a shake of the head in disgust. As I walked out of my local grocery store I followed behind a young man who wore shorts. From the bottom of his knee starting at a single point was a tattoo draping his calf. It was a series of lines that brought immediately to mind that someone had traced the veins in his leg and called it art. I could not fathom why anyone would want to wear that tattoo on their body.
I have often thought about getting my own tattoo and then when I see something as poor as 'vein art' I want to change my mind. Two beautiful pieces belong to other extended members of the family with one being Hawaiian flowers falling gracefully down a woman's arm with a second etched onto Montana Man across his upper back shoulder. My Beloved has one discreetly tucked away on her hip. My design is for my upper arm and involves elements dear to me from my family. It involves the intertwining of a parrot, a rosary, the Roman numeral V and a blue butterfly.
Someday I may get that tattoo and proudly display it (when appropriate). I guess I had better get back into the gym as an arm tattoo always looks better on muscled flesh and not a flabby '50' as my arms are quickly becoming.