Friday, February 24, 2006
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.