One of these days I will be getting around to posting about each and every one of my tattoos and explain the symbolism behind each and every one. Although there are at least a couple that I got because I just wanted to get them, but have managed to create post-symbolism after the fact. It's all about symbolism is it not?
But I had to post about the most recent one, in honor of my grandmother, Myrtle Spigner, who died last January 2015. I'd been long trying to figure out what it was that I was going to get in her honor, particularly given that she was not especially fond of tattoos. Nevertheless, she still wanted to see what I had on me just so she could shake her head about it.
And yet, she was such an integral part of my formation and identity, particularly with respect to my call to ministry.
Myrtle Spigner was a devout Christian all her life, with an unwavering faith of a quality that I have rarely seen even in church. And when she passed away last year at the age of 91, I felt a deep and abiding loss.
She did not live to see me ordained, although she knew it was the path I was heading to, as my ordination finally came seven months later on August 30.
The tattoo that I got in her honor, prominent on my left forearm, is a cross surrounded by crépe myrtle flowers. I made the design via Photoshop by splicing a metal cross tattoo flash art with a botanical drawing of crépe myrtle, which I diced and sliced and printed. The tattoo itself was done by East Bay Shorty who is a tattoo artist living in Bozeman, Montana (see East Bay Shorty's facebook page here) in two sessions, the first in March at my home in Richmond, California and finished on a trip I took to Bozeman in May.