I watched a friend of mine get her first tattoo about two weeks ago. The tattoo itself, and the story behind it, is not mine to tell. But watching her symbol become part of her, gripping her hand during the parts that pressed too close to the bone, was a bit primal.
I’ve never watched anybody give birth, so this is the closest I will probably get to it. And it opened my mind to the possibility of getting my own.
In reality, I probably will not. Not because I judge others who do, but more that I haven’t found anything that truly speaks to me, except for one idea: the semi-colon.
Apparently, tattooing the symbol ; has become rather trendy. There are entire Pinterest pages dedicated to the idea. This alone turns me off, for I fear it being the barbed-wire armband twenty years from now.
But the symbolism grips me. First of all, the grammarian in me finds it to be an apt and lovely image. But more importantly, I Iove the idea of pausing and linking. Every moment from the past leading to the present; every moment connected to the future.
I’m in a semi-colon moment. I said goodbye to some friends recently, and will do it again soon. School is out, and the days are long and meandering. I’m not tutoring. We will soon travel to America for a bit. I wonder what my second independent clause will be.
The moment of pausing, of collecting your breath, can be so uncomfortable. Periods are final–checkmarked and complete.
But pauses are the moment of anticipation. The whirl of the firework before it explodes into color. The aroma of a peach before the first bite. Stepping off the airplane and breathing in a new country.
I am lucky to have more time here in Espana. Different time, with new faces. The kaleidoscope is shifting again, and new colors and images are forming.
I still see my neighbor’s grapes hanging from his terrace, and I listen to his throaty discussions con amigos over fresh-pressed moscatel.
I meet new faces, and give besos, say encantada. I walk the shore and see the life beneath my feet, under the surface, around me.
I pause, I breathe. I am a semi-colon.