Chapter 5: Healing Tatoos

Unlike most people I look forward to Monday mornings. I like structure and plans for the week. I went for my morning run, showered, and headed off to the university. When I arrived at the lab a large note was on the center of the table. “Cali, Linda needs you right away in the department office.” I hurried upstairs and spoke with Linda, the secretary for the anthropology department. She told me Len was stuck on the Channel Islands due to weather and he wanted me to pop in an Ice Man video for his intro to archeology class. I had an hour to find the video and the classroom. With Linda’s guidance and directions I found both. I introduced myself to the class and advised them to take notes because there would be test questions on the video when Len returned. I wasn’t sure if that was true or not, but I wanted them to pay attention to the video. Since I hadn’t seen the video in years, I sat in a student’s desk and watched with them. Iceman’s remarkably preserved body and associated artifacts were found in 1991 in the Alps near the Austrian-Italian border. Radiocarbon dates suggest that Iceman lived around 3300 B.C. I was fascinated by the fact that the Iceman had ninety-nine tattoos, all for healing purposes. After studying the Iceman, I’d considered getting a tattoo but thought it was too permanent. Nothing in life is certain, so why would I want to mark my body with a permanent symbol? That changed when my mentor, soul mate, lover, and friend, Geoffrey, committed suicide. Death is permanent. At his memorial service I bought an unusual ring with a small swirly symbol from a vendor on campus. It reminded me of Geoffrey. It reminded me of the black hole he left behind. I still had it on my finger, and I thought this simple symbol would be the perfect tattoo. It would help me heal from his death. Tattoos for healing—I needed this, and the Iceman justified my need. 



One thought on “Chapter 5: Healing Tatoos

  1. Wow! What a great story. I LOVE tattoo’s. All of mine mean something. My father thinks it’s too much, but they are all special. When I look at my forearm, I see the tattoo of Italy. It also says “Mi manchi, Ti penso sempre,” which means “I miss you, I think of you always,” which I do! Every time I look at my arm I think about my great grandparents who I miss. I got the tattoo after struggling to hear their voices in my head anymore. It was like they had started to fade from my memory. The tattoo helped.

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