I got a tat!

I got my first (and last and only) tattoo about 10 days ago.  Yes, it hurt!! It wasn’t some random act of rebellion; it was a sign of solidarity with my sisters who also each got one. Usually, we do things the same, but thankfully, we each chose what we wanted instead of settling for a single message.

I got a bow and arrow, after some deliberation. No, not because Kevin was a hunter. I decided that something as permanent as a tattoo had to have perpetual meaning for me. One of my very favorite quotes is from the poet Kahlil Gibran, and his book The Prophet is the basis of my most of my philosophy of life. I studied it in a humanities class in high school, and it has stuck with me these past 40 years. There is a chapter in this book that reads:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness. For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves the bow that is stable.

I have interpreted this in my tattoo.  I am in the bow from which my children have been sent forth into the world, and they have indeed gone swift and far.  I am also an arrow from the bow that was my parents. My marriage was a bow, from which Kevin has gone forth to the infinite, and from which I am now soaring on my own path. The picture of my tattoo is next to the one from Gibran’s book.

tattoo1 gibran



Do you have a tattoo? If so, what does it represent? If not, what would it be about if you were to get one? I’d like to hear from you.




  1. Denise Bridges

    I’ve often thought about getting a tattoo, but never made it happen. I know it will be permanent and I have never settled on what body mark I would deliberately make that would last a lifetime. I have a few scars that I did not choose, and they remind me of burns and other mishaps. But I don’t want my tattoo to be an accident, or something that reminds me of a mistake. At this stage and age, I may never do it, especially since I’m so pain-averse. But we shall see what time and circumstance bring!

  2. Michele B

    Pat, I LOVE the tattoo and meaning. I have several myself, and like you, they all have meaning. A couple of them have a Lotus flower incorporated in the tattoo. I love the Lotus and what it stands for. I even had it as my pin my DG year in Toastmasters. The flower is associated with rebirth. It grows out of the murky ponds, on a strong stem and as it comes out of the water, the mud does not stick to it. It comes out beautiful and clean. My first lotus was after my Dad died. It was a very hard time for me, buy my inner strength got me through. That is why I also have Chinese Kanji with that one that means inner strength. My other Lotus tattoo is my most recent one. This one has a stem, and hanging from the stem are two awareness ribbons. A pink one for my sister who survived breast cancer and a yellow one. The yellow one is for a few people; my niece who survived her cancer, my sons’ best friend who died in Afghanistan, and for my dad. The other one is a tattoo my sister and I got together that is the Celtic symbol for sisterhood.

  3. Mary J Fleming

    Tattoo no, to each his own. I don’t even have my ears pierced. The Native American girls on my school bus had nice long necks and beaded earringsI just figured they looked nice on them, but not my thing.

  4. Pat

    I had no idea you have a few tattoos. Either we haven’t seen each other in a long time, or they are hidden! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Pat

    Mary J, I remember when I got my ears pierced. It was a big deal! I was a teenager, and my sister and I both had our aunt do them. My sister fainted when the needle touched her ear, as the ice cube turned out to not do the job fully on freezing the lobe. But times have changed a lot. I am pretty sure I cannot ever be talked into a piercing anywhere else on my body! And this one tattoo is plenty for me. Thanks.

  6. Pat

    Denise, I don’t want another one for myself, but I’d go with you for moral support. It can be the revealing fact about you at your next birthday party!!

  7. Michele B

    I have a few others too. Not sure why I didn’t mention those as they have meaning too. ha ha. And, Yes. Most are fairly hidden 🙂

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