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Tattoos: Moments Captured In Time

November 22, 2010

For me, a tattoo is a reminder of a specific time in my life. A feeling or moment or phase.

The simple dragonfly on the top of my foot might not seem to pack a particularly meaningful punch. However, it represents something to me.  For someone who has felt like she was approaching middle-age since her pre-teen years, it was a reminder to be spontaneous. A totem to act my age, which was 19. A call to experience lightness.

Tattoos can be a very private totem. However, their owners are frequently asked to explain or justify their art. I’ve gotten used to this and sometimes I do want to share my reasons. Other times, I wish it could just be taken at face value as an image that is significant to me.

A little over two weeks ago, I added a new tattoo to my body. I’ve been thinking about this image since January and am very happy to have it on the inside of my right wrist.

I knew even before I arrived on Cambodian soil that I would want a tattoo to memorialize this time in my life. Moving across the globe sight-unseen is a monumental decision. I knew before I arrived that I would be stretched beyond my wildest dreams. An adventurous, exciting and challenging time. I always knew that this experience would change me forever. How could it not?

A few weeks after arriving, a friend lent me his book K’bach. K’bach refers to “the decorative elements of Cambodian architecture.” The book illustrates major motifs, both how they are created and where they can be seen in ancient and modern Cambodian architecture.

I chose a lotus leaf in the K’bach style to adorn my wrist. To me, it also resembles a drop of water and the flames of a fire. It encompasses this experience, the home I’ve created in Cambodia and the person I have become throughout this experience.

A Cambodian emblem to symbolize the ways this country has affected me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 12:37 am

    I like it! I would love to have love tattooed in khmer across the top of my foot… but I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to do it! Also, I don’t think any of my Cambodian friends have tattoos so I don’t know if it’s “taboo” in the church there. :s Anyways!

    I’m coming to Cambodia for 3 weeks during my Christmas break, then I’m coming home to Indiana for one more semester and graduating in April. I’m actually getting engaged while I’m there in Cambodia 🙂 and when I move back to Cambodia will depend on when I get married, which will depend on when Titus gets his fiance visa to come to America.

    Exciting right? Thanks for reading my blog!

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