Friday, February 24, 2006

Chikara


This is a chikara.

I have a chikara tattoo that I got when I was 25. My motives were blended – this symbol is often used by my favorite rock band, on album covers and various merchandising. I wanted to pay tribute to them with a tattoo, but did not want something as blatant as, say, their moniker. Considering the inspirational root meanings of their adopted chikara, I found it perfect for my wants.

As the years have progressed, this tattoo has developed deeper, more significant meaning to me, above and beyond my love of rock and roll.

Chikara is a kanji symbol used to mean strength, energy, wisdom, power and skill. Since staining my skin with this gracefully simple character, I have walked many paths of which I’d never envisioned in my most troubled dreams. I have had to find and draw from strength of which I didn’t even believe was there. I have had to summon energy when I had none. I have harvested wisdom and grace from the wild brambles I’ve needed to traverse. I have gained life skills, and the power to work through often unmitigated torrents – via the ability to draw from within my own strength, and moreso the strength of Almighty God.

Tattoos are daunting decisions. What we love today may be inappropriate and regretted in a few years. The choice in my chikara tattoo is not so. As I and mine have fought through the weathering waters of time and triumph, the chikara on my skin has become a virtual talisman. Not so much a lucky charm, but an outward badge of what’s inside of me. What I have become – what I can become - and what I shall become.

23 comments:

Mike said...

Whoa girl...that was deep. I'm impressed actually. Great post Clew!

My tattoo? regretted it since day one but seeing as how it's all stupid and shit, no one can blame me.

Anonymous Assclown said...

A Kiss tattoo?
Don't feel so bad - I have an Aldo Nova tattoo on my back.

naive-no-more said...

Another amazing post. I have no tattoos, but I think this would be one I wouldn't mind branding myself with.

You failed to mention the location of this mark though. ;)

Nicole said...

Great post Clew!

You are a strong woman, who I believe will always find the strength & energy needed from within you...even when you don't think there is any left.

I'm glad to know you. (well as much as I know you from here ;) )

Nelly said...

I wanna see a pic! Where is it?

theresa said...

I live in a big University town. There's a tattoo shop on every corner. I see lots of examples of body art everywhere, but I've never come up with anything especially fitting for me.
You clearly have the perfect tat for you. It does sound like something that will fit you for your whole life through.

joy said...

What a beautiful and poignant post clew! I've been humming and hawing over getting a tatoo over the last few years. Like you, the symbol, I've chosen holds significant meaning to me. However I'm too chicken to go ahead and do it.

McSwain said...

Well, where is the chikara?

bigwhitehat said...

You did not show us the tat. Sissy.

Rebecca said...

You're so right Clew -
I always wanted to get a tattoo - and would still like to; but I want it to be something that I won't outgrow. Something that's very personal to me. I'm working on a design - but I'm not 100% positive I'll ever do it. No one would ever see it, except my husband. It would be very strategically hidden, but it would really only be for me anway.

Where is yours?

Ruben said...

I have been flirting with the idea of a tattoo for years. I want it to be original and an extension of my personality, but I don't know exactly what to get?

Unacknowledged Genius said...

I had never been tempted to get a tattoo until last summer when my niece was here and wanted to get her belly button pierced. The place she went to have it done was also a tattoo parlor and the tattoo artist was especially talented. I almost almost almost did it but chickened out.

The Editor said...

I want to get a tattoo but that's why I've not done so yet- I fear getting an image that a couple of years later I'll have grown out of. I like this post cause it got me to thinking about things.

Bougie Black Boy said...

very very well said. and tattoos HAVE to mean something to you in order to get them. I think the saddest thing is when I hear people ask, "I want a tattoo. what should I get?"

If you don't know, then you don't need one.... beautifully written post.

Anonymous said...

Too permanent for me.
Why stain yourself for life with something everyone can see, but yet only you know the meaning of. Well, I guess, so someone will ask?
I would look for other avenues to strike up conversations . Most tattoos are nasty looking, and I would estimate that 75% or more people with them, will someday have them removed at a horrible cost.
I like your story and I admit that, when it come to tattoos, I just don't get it.

Kodijack said...

I will never get a tattoo, too scared of needles. If I were to get one it would have to as cool as yours and I am not sure thats available.

Kristi said...

Tattooes are big here. I have one that I got when I first moved to Colorado, just cause I thought it went with my whole thing of driving from MN to CO all on my own. Didn't actually do anything for me like I thought it would!

naive-no-more said...

It's Tuesday!!! Where's your layout?

Pete Mitchell said...

Wow! Great post. Like Kodijack I've got that whole 'needle' thing so likely will never get one. But I love what I've learned about the chikara. I'll definitely be looking into it some more. Thanks.

Lori said...

I've never really been into tatoos or understood the concept behind them, but after reading this post yours definitely makes a lot of sense.

But then, you always make sense to me!
Hugs!
L.

speckledpup said...

I've been thinking ink.

I just can't decide on what I want.
Where I want it....etc. etc. etc.

This was a great post.

Tracy said...

She must have the tattoo on her tata and doesn't want to show it!

Nunzia said...

that's a really awesome take on it.