For the Love of Tattooing: Katherine

“Tattoos are a living, breathing thing, existing symbiotically with us.  They can change rapidly, making them one of the most impermanent arts.  The maximum life span for most tattoos is 70 years or so… In essence, tattoos are just like our life spans, gone within the blink of an eye, and also fluidly moving, ever changing, and becoming something new… My thoughts for the “For the Love of Tattooing” series has been to share the aspects of tattooing that I love with people that may not have the experiences with it.  With this part of the series, entitled “The Transformative Tattoo” I wanted to share stories and experiences on a more intimate and personal level of the experience of getting tattooed, and the life after.” –Sean’s Full Blog Post

We are happy to introduce “For the Love of Tattooing”, a project in collaboration with Serpents of Bienville and submissions are still open. Contact brittny@openoureyes.org


Katherine Henson

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Memories are a powerful thing. So powerful that sometimes we want to ink them on to our skin. A permanent song of our lives. We want these memories, these mantras, these words, these ideals of who we are right there — on our very being. So we do just that. We do just that.

I still remember the first time I stood on top of a mountain. Eighteen. Mexico. August. Maybe it was more of the climb up, but I was quickly reminded just how small I am. But not the kind of small I felt most of my life. This kind of small was different. Just like the way they faced destruction by building themselves up; each peak telling a new story. It tore apart my assumptions of who I thought I was in this world. I was fiercely reminded to surrender, to remember that I was only human; shaken, inconsistent, rough edged, soaked in worth.

Just as the moon once reminded me, “my dear, we must face our darkest days to shine our brightest”. Sometimes we are strong and full, and at times we are weak and wan. We are only human, and human is okay. The moon never leaves us alone, as we all cry out under its same light. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. I mean, what other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore?

The moon my compass, the mountains the needle. Each etched with imperfections, but just as worthy.

I guess that was my mantra when I walked into that shop. The mountains were already a part of me, and I still begged to the moon every night. I wanted to carry that with me, so I am. I now carry these words, this story, this faith in myself as only human, right there on my bare flesh — just as I have always carried it deep in my soul.

I guess I want to be like the moon, the moon I cry to from above the mountain peak.

I don’t know where I will be in twenty or fifty years, but I’ll still be singing that same song.


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If you know anything about me you know my heart is a wildflower.

They are imperfect, yet they still bloom fiercely. They grow themselves deep in the valleys, stretched up the worn ridges, and up to the mountain’s peak. Needing no praise, desiring nothing but their moments in the breeze. I ache in their presence because they simply are what they were created to be – wild, stubborn, present. They do not pray to be like another, nor long to be somewhere better. They root themselves amongst places where no eye may see, set to dance their whole life long with no praise or appreciation. Yet they still bloom.

I walked up a mountain trail and picked a wildflower bouquet. I pulled to the side of the road to sit in their fields. I painted their song across my soul. You see, imperfect as I am, I will still bloom – wild, stubborn, present.

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