I became a US citizen in 2017. Through that process it always bothered me that I was doing all that while continuing to feel that countries are at best meaningless abstractions, if not outright harmful. So at some stage I promised myself that I would get a tattoo that represented the _region_ that meaningfully feels like home to me: more or less the wet maritime side of Cascadia.
I asked several friends for ideas, and ultimately settled on a Western redcedar frond. The species is a distinctive tree that I love, with a range that's a relatively good match for the region I have in mind (whole range is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuja_plicata#/media/File:Thuja_plicata_range.png and the larger contiguous chunk is my idea of home). And I decided on a frond because that's more readily identifiable as this species in particular than a silhouette of the whole tree would be.
Other ideas that I liked but didn't go for:
* Orcas (they're actually worldwide)
* Dorsal fins of specific Puget Sound orcas (too few people would get it; possibly too elegiac especially as the most famous one had just died)
* Pacific tree frog (adorable, but fewer people would recognise the individual species)
* Spotted owl (feels like stepping into a fight)
* Camas (I started to worry about appropriativeness)
Then I got recommendations of artists from various people, and basically sat on a shortlist for 2 years because of a combination of nerves and busyness. It's been feeling really good to finally set this plan in motion, but I am still so very nervous. I'm actually kind of squeamish about needles, in spite of getting about 10 IVs a year because of a medical condition.
I do have a friend coming with me. I suspect I'll need gentle peer pressure to not chicken out, and then be fine once it's started.
Oh, and here's the artist - https://www.instagram.com/taraosprey/ - I think you'll be able to see why I chose her.
@eldang great idea! I'm realizing a similar tattoo idea next year... something representing my "home region".
where are you getting it?
@distel right forearm. Here’s the “conceptual sketch” I made in the only way I know how to, 2.5 years ago:
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