So as not to create any controversy I have used the Spanish word, and thus totally disguise what I could be referring to. There are those who use Scripture to suggest any inking is against the will of heaven. I find that a bit of a stretch, given there is considerable weight also against two kinds of material being worn, or mixed seeds in a field being sown – all under the rubric of ‘holiness’. I don’t like it when I see ‘sleeves’ or people covered in tattoos (DOB has something to do with the ‘I don’t like that’), but an ink here or there seems immaterial.

Here is a tattoo that some smart guy in Madrid slapped on me. Why the little cartoonish bear? Glad you asked.

Some while back I had on my back (no pun intended) ‘True North’ inked with the ‘o’ being a compass. I had it up my spine cos I need to have a straight spine, be upright and know where I am headed. If I get my true north then I can venture in all kinds of directions, not deviating from who I consider I am meant to be.

I am challenged by a few (understatement) of Paul’s statements. The ones I understand and the ones I don’t; the ones I think I take in context and the ones I know are out of context. So to the last category, here is one that I take out of context:

But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

One thing I do. We all probably have 100 things we need to do, to give ourselves to, but I have long considered that I might try the 100 things, the result being I might do okish with 3 or 4 of them but not touch the ‘one thing’ that I must do, or in line with the inking, I might not align to ‘true north’. If I really focus on the ‘one thing’ I might well then end up achieving quite a few more than I expected.

So the friendly bear?

I took a piece of paper that Gayle had been doodling on, that doodle was this bear. I had the result done when we were in Madrid, the symbol of Madrid being the bear. And then… keep with it, all will be revealed as to how significant this was… How do you find ‘true north’, the pole star? Find the bear and follow the trajectory, the bear will lead to true north.

One thing – hope I am not cheating with two things here! If I lose true north I need to allow the bear (drawn by Gayle) to guide me, so I need to find Gayle, be aligned to her and from there I will find my true north; or maybe find Madrid, who is she, what does she symbolise, align to her, her future, the future of Spain, the future of Europe. If I do that I will find myself being aligned to my true north.

Maybe I am not cheating by naming two things, maybe it is not two things, but I need to pick one or the other when I am in danger of missing my way cos I suspect they are intertwined.

I don’t think tattoos are taboo, they are neither here nor there, but a focus on true north and the ‘one thing’ and when we need to the finding of helps that redirect us back to our alignement seems very significant.

Note to self:
Don’t be too concerned about all the things you have not done well… what should be your focus, Martin, that one thing?

2 thoughts on “Tatuajes

  1. I like it. Though I am not going to even ask where the bear is located to point to your spine. There are some things I don’t want to know. Dance on little bear.

  2. My views on ink have changed greatly in the last few years.

    Recently there was a short term tenant in the complex I manage…she came from a very fundamentalist family and was actually ex-military a West Point grad who had worked in DC at Walter Reed (very high upscale military/political hospital)…but you would not know any of that based on her appearance…there is almost no skin on her entire body not covered in ink…she has also done body modification, her ears were cut, her tongue is split…she has implants in her chest that look like a tree…she is obviously using ink to deal with trauma…and as I sat and listened to her (I baked her a cheesecake) I found a soft person completely rejected by her family and wondering about God because religion had been used against her so much (you can probably find image online she was recently interviewed by foreign press and accused of being a demon)…
    My entire point here is I got a chance to get past he ink and trauma and offer a Fathers perspective on grace and courage and using pain against pain…

    The one thing I left her was this:
    “You don’t have to believe in anything, it’s ok…but we should all live lives that offer something to be resurrected just in case there is one…you are incredibly brave and a true work of art in just being you, let that be the thing that gets raised up again and again.”

    I am finding that my focus lately is to make sure there is something in me worthy to be resurrected…we will all be raised, but there are parts in all of us that might need to remain in the dust…the only writing Jesus eve did was in dust.

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