faith · growth · recovery · self-care

Vitamin D

I sit here in the long, angled slants of winter sun, bundled
in my pjs, robe, and two blankets, with a bowl of cinnamon apple I just made. I
was told recently that Vitamin D is a really great healer, and as I’m sick and
had to cancel my plans for today, I’m sopping up this natural resource as much
as I can.
As I’m sick, this blog may not make much sense 🙂 and may
have contributed to the ‘downer’ mood of yesterday’s, but, c’est la vie.
I said a few months ago, around the time that I was preparing
to go home to pack up my house that I felt like my life was “Everything all at
once.” The money stuff was hitting a wall again, family was a beast, and I
generally felt overwhelmed.
A turn came when I also realized that “Everything all at
once” must include the good things too.
Right? If it’s everything,
everything, all this drama and hardship and challenge and chaos, what must also
be happening and available is calm, serenity, growth, and gifts.
Perspective is everything.
So, if at the same time that I’m experiencing a profound
bolstering in my sense of inner strength, this doesn’t preclude that there is
also … life, with all its attendant twists.
To take a narrative turn, my only tattoo is on my left
wrist, and it is of the sun. In my senior year of college, the wall opposite my
bed had a filled-in doorway to the next room, but the molding for the door was
still there. When I’d painted the room, I’d left the molding white, so it was
like a frame. Knowing I was inching toward a tattoo of the sun, I decided it
would be a good idea to live with one for a while, to see if I got sick of it.
So, I began to draw on my wall in that frame, an enormous
sun, with each flame around it different and specific, and within the circle of
the sun was the infinity symbol drawn sort of like a ribbon or mobius strip, so
it was three-dimensional, folding in on itself, traveling infinitely.
These two images to me, infinity and the sun, were images of
“constants.” Things that would always be (though yes, the argument can be made
about the sun, but in my lifetime at least, it is a constant!). An anchor
amidst whatever else was going on, these things would always be.
When I brought my design to the artist, my wrist was too
small to take the detail of the drawing, and so we simplified it majorly.
Sometimes people assume that the lines within the circle on my wrist are of a
yin-yang, which sort of bothers me 😉 as I want to say, ew, no, I’m not that hippie, lol. But, I know what it represents.
Along those lines of constancy, for the last … maybe 4
years, I’ve been playing with another tattoo design, but have hesitated because
it would cover the entire right side of my body from top of my ribs to my
hipbone, and part of me feels “bad” or guilty rather to cover the work that is
already there – me 😉 The art G-d already made. It’s like graffiti – you never
tag over someone else’s work. Never.
So, twice, I’ve brought my design in to two different
artists. One was not quite my style, but still has my deposit, I believe! The
other, I found about a year ago, when searching online for someone who would be
good with the design I had in mind – and lo and behold, this guy had just
opened up a shop above Union Square, and I met with him, and we emailed photos
and sketches ad nauseum, and finally, we got it right.
Then, I got into grad school, and was soon to be unemployed,
and let him know, and he said cool, and to get in touch when I wanted to do it.
The design combines the images of the “hand of G-d” and the
“tree of life.” The trunk of the tree would be the wrist of a hand, with the
main branches as the outward curving of fingers. But it would look like a tree,
of course, and that’s what drew me to this guy. I’d seen some work he did where
the trees looked so intricate and phenomenal – it’s hard to do a tree! So, you wouldn’t be entirely sure, or
it wouldn’t be
obvious, that it
was a hand, but it is.
The branches would be covered in each of the seasons, moving
from one to the next, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring (so that the sparse branches
of winter weren’t on an end, and also, to indicate that after the death of
winter, there is always spring).
The root system would travel down over my hipbones, equally
as massive and firm as the branches, because the degree to which we flower is
equal to the degree to which we are rooted, I believe.
I still think about this design, and it fits in well with my
first one with regard to constancy – the constancy of a Higher Power in my life
and the constancy of the potential to grow and flower continuously, infinitely.
We’ll see what happens, he still has my deposit too, and I
still have his final design. But I love the ideas I’ve chosen to live with, and
I don’t for a second regret the one on my wrist. And as the sun, here, now,
today, makes it’s slow way from behind another building onto me tucked into my
cozy couch, I am again grateful. For the reminder that it’s okay to be still
and mend today as tomorrow will come too; the reminder that growth is infinite
and continuous; and that there is always, always something to count on. 
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