So, I got a tattoo this week. Pretty big one, too. And pretty much visible to the whole world during the warm months. Like I’ve mentioned before (or at least hinted at), I’m dancing through my mid-life crisis to the tune of a very different drummer.
No stepping out on the wife with hot young thangs at the local drinkeries. No cherry-red sports car. No sudden abandonment of my family. Nope. Too standard.
Instead, I’ve decided to explore some whole new territories, like that erotica-writing thing. Like redefining my marriage (with the full input, blessing and co-planning of Mrs. Blue). Like marking my skin. Other things, too, I have done to mark my early 40s and make them my own, not all of which I’m ready and willing to share here yet.
In fact, my midlife isn’t a crisis at all. It’s a redesign. And just like a magazine that goes through the process, my underlying mission, content and character remain mostly the same. It’s the appearance and approach that are changing, to make me a better me (or so I hope).
No, no crisis here. Just realizing at around the middle (if all goes well) of my life, more or less, that this is MY life. There are others who occupy it as well, and I take them into account, but less and less do I give a rat’s ass what the world expects of me. I’m not a product. I’m a human.
The tattoo, of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec god, is just one overt representation of that. I don’t care if the average person says, “Cool dragon” while totally missing the fact it isn’t a dragon at all. It’s not about them, though I’m happy to give them some eye candy.
No, this is a god of arts, crafts, knowledge, learning and priesthood that adorns me. It defines most of the things that define me at my core, and honors a culture long gone as well as the aspirations and directions that my Jesus-based spiritual journey entail.
More changes to come, I’m sure. But in the end, I’m still Deacon Blue. Still Jeff Bouley. Still a husband, lover, father, friend, guide and counselor. And sometimes idiot, fool and jester.
Oh, and here’s that new tattoo: