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Another thing that happened at Cornerstone Festival, that I figured deserved its own post, was Eric and I’s new tattoos! We’d gone with Eric’s cousin Torrey just the week before when he got his, so the thought of getting our own was kind of already in our minds. Not to mention that for months we’d both been developing ideas of what we wanted for our next tattoos. So when we arrived at Cornerstone and noticed the mobile tattoo van and discovered that the price was right, we figured why not? These would be the first tattoos we got together and getting them at the festival would be a fun and memorial experience.

Here’s what we decided we wanted: I’d been considering the idea of getting my pipe as some sort as a tattoo. I’d gotten this pipe in the spring of 2008 in Budapest I think, for 5 euro from a grizzled old man at a flea market on the street. I love this pipe, and I have many wonderful and sad memories of smoking it. My favorite memories and the ones I associate most strongly with it are in the spring of 2009, when I first began to know and become best friends with Eric, and smoking it together on the roof of his car listening to Tegan and Sara late at night, or as we dried our cold wet socks by a fire after a day of exploring and adventures. So, the image of this pipe is associated in my mind with the deep friendship I have with my husband, and what our relationship originally stands on.

Eric wanted a design based on a Pocket Vinyl painting I’d done almost exactly 3 years after the memories mentioned above. He wanted a monster design on his right forearm to balance out his first tattoo. He loved the painting I’d done in Terre Haute, IN, and how the monster in that painting has a strong and protective nature. Something about this image really resonated with Eric.

I sketched up our two design ideas in pencil first, to make sure we both got originally what we wanted, before inking the final design. For my design, I added smoke above the pipe bowl and the words “…my child.” written in the smoke. I have heard God unmistakably speak to me only a few times, but every time He has addressed me as “my child”, often along with a calming, peaceful, and reassuring message. Also, not long ago I heard an argument about how, instead of identifying ourselves by what we do, how we act, or what family or nation we belong to, we should identify ourselves as “a child of God”, and that alone. That thought comforts and calms me, and I strive to truly believe and consider that of myself.

For Eric’s design, we switched the direction the monster is facing, and left out the child.
Our artist was a guy named Blaq, from Chicago’s Exodus Ink Tattoo Studio. And he did an awesome job, considering we were in the hottest spot in the US during the hottest time of the year and the air conditioning had broken on their bus. I really wish we could find some awesome tattoo artists we could become “regulars” with. Someday, hopefully, because I sincerely doubt these will be our last.

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