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Friday, August 6, 2010

TIme to explain the Kite.


I spent hours sitting at my friend's kitchen table coloring and discussing tattoos. I had this discussion with two others, both of whom are Christians and who want their tattoos to reflect this and encourage devotion.

This discussion was preceded by days of being around conservative Christians of various varieties... and no one else. I do not dislike Christians. I do not think that they are stupid. However, feeling like every single one of them would disapprove of and be shocked by pieces of my life is distancing and uprooting.

Fueled by all this, an image popped into my head as I pulled into my driveway: a tattoo of a kite on my foot. Admittedly, this is not completely original or all that absurd, but I like it.

The basic frame of a kite is two sticks, one shorter than the other, laid perpendicular; in short, it's a cross. Beyond the frame, it's a kite: windblown, hopeful, reminiscent of sunlight and sky. It's just dreamy enough, though it's grounded in a tangible object.

I don't think that tattoos must have meaning. In fact, I was quite torn between getting something symbolic/important and getting something meaningless. Of course, a meaning-devoid tattoo would be a statement in itself; "I chose to put this permanent imprint on my body for absolutely no reason at all. It's pretty." And the meaningless tattoo would stand in for the way there is no ultimate "meaning" to life. We're creatures. Existence doesn't mean something. It just is.

To seemingly-demerit-everything-I-just-said, this tattoo does have meaning. Atheists have a bad rap, even in my head. The word sounds super angry and German, and I'd prefer a title that conjures images of fields and kittens. (Just kidding?) But I really didn't have a bad time as a Christian. I understand that many, many people did, and so I can respect their anger, but I do not share in it. Only things like DADT anger me. I don't want to be an angry atheist. In fact, I can't really afford to be one. My friends are mostly Christians and they are wonderful people whom I care about. I don't want to lose them with bitterness or anger.

And so: the kite. It takes the cross (my history of devotion to a fake deity, belief in an afterlife, involvement with a culture I left suddenly and for somewhat inexplicable reasons) and transforms it into (something small, concrete, experienceable by everyone, and reminiscent of a more reasonable happiness, joy, and hope) a kite.

Two final things and I'm outta here: I don't actually have this tat yet. I want it, but I'm willing to wait until I've done my research and talked to people with tattoos to acquire it. After all, I can wait a few months for something that will stay with me my whole life. Secondly, I started this blog that night too. It's creation was a long while in the making (I've been dwelling on this idea for a while) but the execution of it shared a commencement with the tat. Hence, it's name.

Toodaloo and wishes for concrete hope.

(Img cred to: Life 123)

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