“Part the First: The History
Got my first tattoo as a 30th-Birthday gift to myself and because I thought I was old enough not to be scolded by my mother for doing so (I was wrong!). On the evening of the tattooing, someone said to me in a somewhat disparaging manner, ‘Well, I hope you’re still happy with that when your 40th birthday comes along!’
And I was. So I got another one!
The next two were tattoos of choice, not decade—but each one close enough (for rock ‘n roll) to count as those markers as well.
Part the Second: The Consideration
In 2008, my husband was considering applying to Naropa University, which would mean relocating from New Jersey to Boulder. I had long been interested in spending a week at Naropa’s Summer Writing Program. So, as the ‘scouting party,’ I did so in 2008 and, of course, I fell in love with Boulder, Naropa, and Anne Waldman in one fell swoop! I went home to New Jersey and pretty much said ‘Mail the application!’
Part the Third: The Move
We arrived in Boulder in the summer of 2010. Hank began grad school at Naropa at the end of August, and in October, I also found a job (the job of my dreams, as it turns out!) as the Events Coordinator in Naropa’s Office of Admissions, so we became a little Naropa family. Somewhere along the way, I picked up an art book of text tattoos and became very interested in having one—I just didn’t know what it was supposed to say. I have been considering snippets of poetry and great words, along with possible body parts/locations, for quite some time now, but the actual tattoo was reluctant to reveal itself.
Part the Last: The Project!
Now in Boulder for a little more than three years and still pondering the text tattoo, I began getting itchy to have a Colorado tattoo added to my collection. But what should it be, what should it be? And then in September, I picked up an issue of Boulder Magazine and found the article about the Boulder Tattoo Project. What, a tattoo about loving Boulder? The WORDS I’ve been searching for, written by Anne Waldman? All the aspects of my world converged, and I sent an e-mail to Chelsea before I even finished reading the article! I had to be IN!
All of my previous tattoos have a nature theme, so I pored over the poem, marking words and phrases that spoke to me, and seemed to be related to my other ink. When the list of possibilities was published, I got my first choice phrase (equinoctial moon), but I’d have to say that all three phrases I submitted were choices 1a, 1b and 1c—no ambivalence about any of them!
Once I became a part of the project and began talking about it around campus, I discovered there was an entire sub-tribe of Naropeans also involved. Four of us arrived for our tattoo session together; we checked on one another during our tattoo healing phases and encouraged others to join in the project as the list of phrases dwindled down.
I became very attached to the Equinoctial Moon as I created my costume for the launch party at The Laughing Goat. I realized I was thinking about this being as ‘her’ as I worked, and voila! She won first prize!
Still a relative newcomer to Boulder, I am delighted to have this new community—Chelsea and Vinny, and all the other members of the collective poem. Thanks to everyone who helped to create this project.”