When you are laying on a table in a tattoo parlor for a couple of hours you have plenty of time to let your mind wander.
It isn't quite the definition of idling well since the funky tunes are pumping through the sound system and the constant rattle of the needle going into your arm, but you still get to think about things.
Yesterday, as I got my latest tattoo I was thinking about J.R.R. Tolkien and how he would react to see people like me getting his words permanently put on their skin.
This gave me giggles as I imagined him smoking his pipe at the latest gathering of the Inklings and sharing his shock and amazement. Especially since tattoos were no where near as common as they are today.
As an author myself, I imagined the reaction I would have if any of my words ever touched someone so much that they got a tattoo inspired by them. The conclusion was that I can’t imagine ever writing something that would be that awesome. But, who knows?
So, why get these words and image on my arm for all eternity?
Originally, I had thought about getting the tree and path from the cover of Amazing Things Will Happen on my arm. The metaphor means a lot to me beyond the book and it felt like a great thing to celebrate on my body.
Then on New Years Eve as I laid on the couch sick, I was watching hours of LA Ink and of course I began noodling about the tattoo. Suddenly I realized there was more to the tree and that this quote that I've long lived by would be perfect with it.
I love to travel. I rarely take the obvious path in my life and career. When outdoors I often joke about the difference between not knowing where you are and being lost.
No one should ever get a tattoo that doesn't have special meaning to them. This one means the world to me.
Thank you Tolkien for the inspiration all those years ago. Thank you Dan Bythewood for taking my idea and turning it into this beautiful piece of art.