I had my tattoo expanded recently. The municipal pool where I swim is closed for most of January so I decided to take advantage of the chlorine hiatus and have my upper arm inked.
My first tattoo is on my lower, inner arm. A guy named Mikey inked it in Long Beach. The image was taken from a book about Alchemy and Mysticism. It is a drawing of a rose attracting bees with the inscription DAT ROSA MEL APIBUS floating above the flower. Translated from Latin it reads The rose gives bees honey. I viewed my first tattoo as something of an initiation. By then I had lived in California for over two years and my life didn't resemble my life leading up to that point. I felt that I was different and that even the world was different, or at least the way that I viewed it. I figured that a proper initiation should include some physical pain (a test of endurace) and leave a permanent mark.
I had my second tattoo (on the outer part of my lower arm) inked by a talented tattoo artist named Lance whom I discovered by chance. Again, I plucked an image from the world of mysticism, this time 17th Century emblamata. A pair of heavenly hands shake within an ouroboros. Mistletoe grows around the image. Pagans value mistletoe as a sacred plant. It grows high up in trees, never touching earth. Mistle thrushes eat the white berries and defecate into the bark of the host tree: a propogation closer to the heavens.*
Lance expanded the mistletoe motif into my upper arm and inked a couple of perched mistle thrushes. There is another bird flying on my shoulder. I may eventually have a sun placed between the thrushes emanating rays above the flying bird's head. I may wait until the pool closes again to have the sun tattooed, but I may not. Now that I can picture the entire completed arm, I kind of want to just have it realized. Lance works from his home in Glendale. His website is lantzhuston.com. While having the birds buzzed into my skin I stared at Lance's Planet of the Apes poster written in French for hours.
|Some inks in Lance's collection.|