Monday, October 12, 2009

a blustery day and a tattoo

I was very brave to go out on this blustery morning to take fotographs. It was misty and wet and altogether unpleasant, but we were about to spend the entire day in a car so it didn't much matter to me.
K was getting tattoo number two at Redemption in Boston, and I went along for the ride. It was a long, long day but his tattoo turned out really great and he's super happy about it so color me happy, too!

I also have one, which I often forget about. I hate to say it but I forget where I got it done! My friend B and I took a train trip down to Providence, RI the summer after we graduated from college and got inked. The only reason I even remotely regret it is that I constantly have to explain it to everyone I meet.

I think everyone has a sort of existentialist crisis upon college graduation... what am I doing, why am I here, who am I, why am I?... etc. I was no different. One way to avoid thinking about all of this, I found, was to read. A lot. That summer I was especially immersed in the fiction of Simone de Beauvoir (I still have yet to read "The Second Sex," but I've read almost everything else!) and Tom Robbins (who will put you on a MindBender for life... in a good way) and it also happened to be my first reading of Robert M. Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," which fascinated me so much I went on to read his second book, "Lila," immediately afterward. I had always been intrigued by Eastern philosophy and religion, and along the way I discovered the Hindu "AUM." It is a very complex symbol, and interpretation varies slightly in the many forms of Indian philosophy, but these are the basics:

In brief, the symbol represents the Absolute. The divine energies of everything that exists, beyond the realm of understanding with body and/or intellect, culminate in the Ultimate Truth that all is One--everything is connected. It represents a profundity so complex that it can only appear as a symbol. To perfectly utter the intonation during meditation is to become one with the pulse & vibrations of the Universe and subsequently to feel those vibrations resonate in your very soul.

Although I could never call myself Hindu (or subscribe to any "religion" as such), it does make the most sense to me from a metaphysical standpoint. I am fascinated by the ways in which science and religion collide and complement each other... I'm sure that the only possibility for a true modern "religion" must be an amalgamate of current Eastern theology, metaphysics and quantum theory.

As for the script? It's (half of) a quote from de Beauvoir's brilliant book, "The Mandarins." The full quote:

"All around me the world lies like an immense hypothesis I no longer verify."

I like that it reinforces the meaning of the AUM, and although I chose not to use the entire sentence I think the immensity of the world is implied in those first six words. It does suggest a level of egocentricity, which was unintentional but does make sense because of my personal struggle to comprehend the complexity of the world that surrounds me and my inability to come to any concrete conclusions (as of yet).

When I'm in a bad mood (never happens!), the dark side of the double-entendre allows that nothing is true or real (and is, in fact, lying).

So that's what my ink means (to me)! It probably won't show up in any autumn/winter outfit posts because it's already so cold here--there was frost on the grass this morning! no thanks, winter, no thanks.

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