Thursday, March 08, 2007

HNT #13: Tattoo

Cyberwarlock asked to see a better view of the tattoo. He clearly has a thing for Badtz Maru. Me too. Last week I didn't have time for HNT because I was busy writing about Buddhist sanghas. (see earlier posts) This week I've been busy thinking and writing about a vision for community networking.

Here's my lovely Prajnaparamita, when she was brand new. 2003? Follow that link for a blog post on my Sunday School lesson on Prajna Paramita. I showed the girls my tattoo, but I covered her boobs with a bandaid and joked I was making her rated PG for them. They thought it was funny.


Last week I did find time to see the Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt. Cyberwarlock has Egyptian tattoos, I was thinking of him and looked for his images. The exhibit featured "the largest selection of antiquities ever loaned by Egypt for exhibition in North America. It included objects that have never been on public display and many that have never been seen outside of Egypt." During the final days, tickets were sold out. As an art museum member, I still had to pay for tickets, but they were cheaper. As often happens, I waited till the last possible week to go, but fortunately I did buy the tickets in time. I so wanted to touch the carved stone pieces of the exhibit. They cried out to be touched, especially those that were originally gods in temples. People made offerings and touched them, rubbed away the hieroglyphs. I didn't touch. I'm a good girl that way, I obey the rules that make sense. It took Brent and me over 2 hours to go through the whole thing, we were tired. I wish I'd gone more than once.


I learned from the audio guide that women would be depicted as lighter-skinned than the men. This symbolized wealth, because it showed they did not have to spend their days laboring in the sun. I was reminded of my observation that all romance novels depict women as lighter-skinned than their dark handsome lover on the cover. If not lighter-skinned, the men are at least in shadow, so they're still darker. I wondered if this is a deeply ingrained collective memory for us humans. (In my years of working at the library, I have found only one exception to the rule.)

I saw what I thought was a necklace of gold cowrie shells. It had a diameter of about 6 inches. It was a belt. I know we modern wealthy humans are large, even the smallest of us, but it is startling to see.

The audio guide informed me that I would see images of the lotus featured frequently. For the Egyptians it is a symbol of regeneration. The narrator also said that it has been shown to have narcotic properties, and something about putting the cut stem in a bottle of wine. Hmmm. Made me wonder, is there a hidden history in Buddhism? The lotus features prominently as a symbol of enlightenment, they tell us because the bloom is so beautifully pristine even though it grows in muddy water. Because it grows in muddy water. Our lesson is that our wisdom, our pure enlightenment, needs the muddy water of this messy life. It's a good lesson. I've found it to be true. But now I wonder. While we have a precept warning against intoxicants, Buddhists also have a history of using stimulants to stay awake and meditate for long hours into the night. Green tea, anybody? (There's a whole nother conversation there...enlightenment, or braincrash?)

Notice Prajnaparamita is seated on a lotus. Most Buddha statues will be. Hey, I brought it back around to the topic of the HNT_1.

11 comments:

Stealth said...

ooo I love the ink!!! beautiful!

HHNT!

Catfish said...

Nice tat

Cosima said...

Beautiful tatto...love the band-aid story too :)

Happy HNT!

Blissfully Wed said...

Happy enlightenment. I could just stare at your tattoo for hours.

HHNT!

~Him

Regal said...

Awesome detail. Happy HNT

tkkerouac said...

Nice!

SIMPLY ME said...

The bloom is beautiful even though it grows in muddy water.....Wow, it really does show wisdom for one of life's many lessons. Thank you for this insite.

justwhen aka rachel said...

...women would be depicted as lighter-skinned than the men. This symbolized wealth...

I had wondered about that. Duh! *slapping self* Of course.

Thanks for passing on the explanation.

JeannieGrrl said...

Oooh I am soo late but that is one wicked cool tat :) Great inkwork and an intriguing subject! Awesome! Happy late HNT! Thx for the visit too :) Your blog is cool!

CyberWarlock said...

Very cool tattoo. And yes, I'm a huge fan of Egyptian stuff (and Badtz Maru).

Heverton Cavalcante said...

yes this is a tattoo of Prajnaparamita - http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/389818_218841184859459_100002007373342_518279_1643631938_n.jpg