Friday, September 18, 2009

Nine Little Foot Tattoos and a Prayer for Peace

It is embarrassing to admit, I don't remember the name of today's contributor.

Normally, regular readers may know, I'm a bit more diligent about contributors to the site, but in this case, Z, as I will refer to her, gave me her card, which included her email address and website (she's an artist that works mostly in oils), and I subsequently put it somewhere safe. So safe, I forgot where.

In other words, I lost it.

But let's talk about how I met Z and came to know her tattoos.

Fate spilled me out on the 36th Street platform in Brooklyn. An express train (N) came before the local, so I hopped on, with the intention of riding to 59th, one stop away, and then grabbing an R train.

Standing on the N, I looked down and saw a tattooed foot. Not your normal tattooed foot, with a rosary (like this one), or flowers, or whatnot, but a foot with tattooed marks on it. Just the right foot. The left foot was bare, although there were symbols circumnavigating the calf, just above the ankle.

As luck would have it (Luck loves Tattoosday), Z exited the train at 59th Street and I started talking to her on the platform.

We both caught the R and talked tattoos all the way to 95th Street. Upstairs, at street level, I snapped some photos.

This is her foot:

Up close, one can see that the marks are ants.

Z grew up in New Orleans and always remembers the big, black ants that scurried about.

One day, she was bored, and drew some ants on her foot with a Sharpie. She went several days with her foot be-speckled by these ants, and they grew on her. She wandered into Cherry Bomb Tattoo in Brooklyn, and had them permanently tattooed.

There are nine ants in all.

The following tattoo is above her left ankle:

The Tibetan prayer is "om mani padme hum". She told me that this is the prayer for universal peace.

Thanks to Z for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

UPDATE: It took a while, but our paths crossed again, on July 2, 2010, I was hanging outside of the laundromat near home when I saw a woman with black spots on her foot crossing the street across the avenue from me. When I saw the ring of Tibetan around her left ankle, I knew it was the same person. I scurried across the street and re-introduced myself. The subject formerly known as "Z" is actually named Jeanette, and I was finally able to update this post, with her proper name attached.

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