Saturday, June 20, 2009

Every Tattoo Has a Story - Part I

In the Spring of 2007 I freed myself of a very toxic relationship. I moved in with my parents for a short time to work on getting back on my feet - emotionally and financially. One night, my father and I went for a walk along the Jordan Parkway, a walking/biking trail that runs along the Jordan River. As we were walking along the path it's really quite ugly. The plant life surrounding the trail has not yet woken up from its winter slumber. The river is a murky shade of brown and the dead reeds made the scenery down right depressing. We walked for several miles. Despite the scenery, it felt very cleansing. Then, out of no where one branch of a tree, not more than 4 feet tall shot out of the ground among the ugliness. The branch had green leaves and pink cherry blossom flowers growing all the way up it. I stopped my Father and walked through the mud to it, grabbed out my phone and took a picture. When I got back on the designated walking trail I looked at my Dad and said, "I just found my next tattoo."

When we got home I started researching the meaning behind cherry blossoms and found there are different meanings from China and Japan:

Chinese Cherry Blossom

For the Chinese the cherry blossom is a very significant symbol of power. Typically it represent a feminine beauty and sexuality and often holds an idea of power or feminine dominance. Within the language of herbs and herbal lore of the Chinese the cherry blossom is often the symbol of love.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

For the Japanese the cherry blossom holds very different meaning. The cherry blossom is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time. For the Japanese this represents the transience of life. This concept ties in very deeply with the fundamental teachings of Buddhism that state all life is suffering and transitory. The Japanese have long held strong to the Buddhist belief of the transitory nature of life and it is very noble to not get too attached to a particular outcome or not become emotional because it will all pass in time.

The fallen cherry blossom is not taken lightly in Japanese symbolism either. It often represents the beauty of snow and there are many connections made in Japanese literature or poetry to a fallen cherry blossom and snow. This also has been extended to the life of a warrior whose life was ended early in battle.

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I am taking bits and pieces from both meaning. For me, it serves as a reminder of the strength it took to get out of a toxic situation, is serves as a symbol of femininity, it serves as a sign of a new beginning and it serves as my belief in finding true love.

I still have the picture I took on my phone that day, although it is save on a disk that I left in my office so I will add it to this post later. But this picture is fairly close to what I will be getting today (4PM MST), but without the Chinese writing.
Wish me luck! Follow up pictures to come!

Blogfully yours,

Summer

UPDATE: I found the original picture I took while on a walk with my Dad.

3 comments:

Karina The Russian said...

Yeah! i'll see you tonight!!!

Staci and Cody said...

I cant wait to see it! I just want to do more and more! Its so refreshing and cleansing!

Laura said...

I love tattoos with a great story, and this is no exception. I just got my first tattoo with kind of a similar history, and it's one of the most empowering things I've ever done. Good luck, and keep us updated with pics!