Back Pain & Why Tattoos :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I know more and more I talk about chronic illness. It’s not meant to just be a purge, a kvetch or a notice for recognition. Lately, my flare up have just been getting worse and longer. All the advice doctors gave and the awkward hard to explain moments just seem worse. More then ever, I am just tired. So very tired…

A friend of mine is coming up to visit me in April and I am so excited to have someone see where I go to University and be an understanding friend. I had been debating when ( and more importantly) where to get a back tattoo I have always wanted.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Yakuza movies, samurai movies and ronin movies. I loved the traditional colorful tattoos on them and the values that seemed to come with them. As I got older, learned more about what it meant and how it was perceived I didn’t want such a large piece anymore. For awhile, I thought about abandoning the idea completely.

Then I got my diagnosis and I started to reconsider. What eventually solidified the desire to get the tattoo was this increasing problems. My drugs are increasing and surgeries that seemed far off seem sooner and sooner. More and more I feel like I am missing out and that I’ll miss out on things even more in the future. Weighed down by everything around me and having it all be unseen is taking a bigger toll on me. I can do less then I used to at the moment and no one really sees it or understands it. More and more I have to come to terms with being seen by the average person as a ‘disappointment’.

It’s these things that make me stop caring about some of the things I used to. If I feel like life is short and changing so much for me I have to at least do the things I enjoy? A giant back tattoo or some crazy visual representation of all my problems probably won’t do much for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stick to aesthetic and feel as if I did something to show it.

My back has two curves and a tiny hump on my neck. At the top of my spine there are signs of bones thinning and possibly going to fade away. As you got to the bottom of my spine fusing has started, my hips are out of place and my legs are now two different lengths. None of this can be seen or understood unless I give up and say I want to walk around like Quasimodo so people notice me. That is always going to be the reality of my back. Anything from now on won’t be seen.

I like small minuscule and thin lined tattoos. Normally, I don’t want color and just want simple black. I’ve known since I was small I would want tattoos that represented ideas that meant a lot to me in life. Knowing this it isn’t hard for me to know what sort of tattoo I’d get on my back.

At the top of my neck, I would want in thin black lines Vegvisir. Vegvisir is one of the most popular Nordic charms. It wishes for the person to never lose their way in storm and bad weather even if the path is unknown. I don’t think there is anything more symbolic of everything going on then that. However, there is one more reason. My great grandma’s mother was a Swedish Orphan. She had come to the U.K. and met a Spanish Jew. They married and moved to the U.S. Apparently, unlike her husband and the efforts she put into now being Jewish and raising Jewish kids she never gave up her belief system. She was very very very Christian. I’m talking crosses and bloody Jesus pictures everywhere sort of Christian. Yet, there was one thing that my great grandma remembered seeing even when she didn’t know the name of it until I told her: Vegvisir. In a legacy where only food and some old myths managed to be passed down, my great grandma could vaguely in her dying times remember seeing Vegvisir as a child. Now how could I argue with that? Jewish or not, my great grandma read me Nordic myths as I was growing up, joked how if it was true Odin was 100% cooler than Zeus, and how we were meant to be tough because it was just in our blood. I’m traveling rough waters right now and maybe that means it isn’t just about being Jewish, but remembering all beliefs that helped create me.

Underneath Vegvisir is the real highlight though. Running in small thin lines will be the I Ching and its 64 changes. For a person of my aesthetic and weirdness (and love for Asian culture) what is better then 64 line patterns each symbolizing a different part of early understanding and divination? Nothing. Seriously, nothing at all. My life is certainly one of change and phases, of fortunes and dis-fortunes, and of joy and sadness. These line patterns will follow the crooked path my spine takes all the way to my tailbone. Maybe it will seem funny to some, but to me it’s a little part of the truth. And when these inevitable surgeries come, the scars appear on my back and the fight through new types of pain begins, I have marks of it all. Little lines that exist as part of scars and as part of the journey.

Going through all of this has taught me that living behind a mask is no longer something I’ll really be good at again. My body demands of me the truth. It demands that I grow past the angry cynical jaded girl I was when I was young and try to find the joy of life. It tells me that it will not tolerate lies and will only tolerate truth.

Don’t I have to do it then?

I.L. Knight

P.S. Odin really is way better. Norse > Greek everyday <3

Vegvisir

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I Ching

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Pagan Folk Music – Vegvisir

Let Me Love You :

I have to admit it. I am sadder than I thought, Two days of unconsciously reversing my day and night schedule. The denial of how much I’ve slipped so far in 2018. A set of days spent with an obsession of finishing Twilight Fan Fiction because of remembering to take your Ritalin and guilt towards your mom. No more interest in Bravo or slow Jrock ballads. A Saturday of a youtube worm hole featuring Lorde related playlists and glee clips.

I am a sad person, who get scared every time she looks at the door and realizes she’s supposed to be walking through it. Scared of having to actually face the tiny tasks of entering adulthood. Or becoming actually okay with a body that feels like it’s refusing to work. To somehow become okay with the fact that after spending four years to lose weight and maintain it you are fat again. To wake up and not see the weak and rotten person you have become. To try and summon up the will to see people.

I’m just so fucking sad right now.

Even as I write this, Jake’s let me love you is playing, as tears stain the pages I originally wrote this on, and images of the multiple times in your life you’ve been molested or raped. Wondering to myself when was it exactly that I lost my virginity. Which time? When was it that I officially lost my ability to be okay with my body. To be okay with myself.

Was it when I was locked in the closet? When I was alone in my house? When I went hunting for the first time and felt happy for the animal to be part of some circle of life? Maybe it was when I spent seven years of my life only thinking about a toxic person? Maybe it’s right now, hearing this song, realizing statistically I have a dismal chance of anyone feeling that for me. That I am alone in the world. Sad. Crying. Trying for scraps to sustain some shell of a person.

Because everything about is some sort of pain or trauma. I can’t even think of something that wouldn’t be. Never being poor? I think it is a sick joke in the world that having money alone doesn’t mean much. What is it even when you don’t have enough of it to spend it constantly as a distraction.

I could literally die right now, and it wouldn’t mean that much. Because every night I go to bed worrying about how this could be my last night and how that would probably provide me with some relief in just not having to wake up the next day.

Being broken is a pleasant description for people like me. Being a sad reflection maybe being the best compliment we can get. It’s not like we are never not sick at any time in our lives. G-d, I even have to live with snotty tears since fixing my nose. Even when I tried to fix it to help me breathe better. That, and again caving to some pressures of someone else.

Man, after twenty one years of my life I just wish I’d have some root as a living person. Because sadness alone doesn’t do it. It doesn’t sustain you. It doesn’t motivate you. It doesn’t connect you to anything.

You are just sad. And that is your existence. I wish I could admit to myself or to other’s how much I need someone to say they’d love me even if I’m not loving myself. Not that I would even be able to try and find it. I’d probably just become some sick joke of going from completely untouchable to touching everything in sight. And then what I even really become? Some peephole feature in a temporary pop up art exhibit in Japan?

I don’t even know how to end this…

I.L. Knight

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Let Me Love You – Glee Version

If I Were A Boy – Glee Version