{ Deeper Story: Embodied Stories }

hope 500

I hated tattoos.

Then I turned 40. And a friend got his first tattoo, one he designed. It was like looking at truth burnished into his skin, an embodied story he wore regardless of the day’s weather or wardrobe.

Four years later I sat in the black leather chair surrounded by crimson walls. I heard the snap of the latex gloves, the click of the machine and then, “You ready to join the f—in’ club?” Holy crap!

As Carl started laying the ink under my skin, I couldn’t believe I was doing this. Not the going out into the late night air to a tattoo parlor, not the listening to MegaDeath play as he marked me with a symbol of MegaLife… I couldn’t believe I sat there confronting my own fear.

As the artistry and story of tattoos began to intrigue me, I never let myself imagine one of my own because of my fear, not of the permanence but of the pain. The idea of submitting to the hurt held me back for years.

But something changed in my forty fourth year. I decided somewhere between Burundi and Canada that I wanted to live unafraid. In the company of brave women and adventurous men, in the quiet pages of ink scribbled on paper and whispered Spirit prayers, I determined that I didn’t want to live scared anymore. Scared of dreaming, scared of trying, scared of saying certain things out loud.

Read the rest over at Deeper Story today! And… if you have an embodied story to share, link up with us!

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All content on this site is copyrighted by Kelley Nikondeha. Please do not copy work without permission. You are welcome to quote or reference my blog in your article, but please make sure you link back to the original post. Please do not post an article in full without permission, because that is a violation of intellectual property. (My African friends have a different sense of this, but being American, I can tell you it does matter to me!)

All writing on this site represents my own journey, my own wrestling, my own epiphanies. While I work with Communities of Hope, ideas shared here do not necessarily represent this organization.