FOWC with Fandango — Tattoo

I have one big tattoo of a phoenix on my left calf. I had it put there when I was 55 years old because it described my life better than anything else I could think of. How many times had my life be shattered and somehow, I’d arisen and come back as good or better than before?

I designed the tattoo myself. I didn’t want one that looked like someone else’s. It came out a lot bigger than I expected and over the nearly 20 years since I got it, it has faded considerably. I suppose I should get it “recolored,” but I’ve got enough weird stuff going on with my body so we’ll just let this one drift on the wind.

If you aren’t sure what the story of the Phoenix is, it goes like this:

Short Tale of the Phoenix (Click this link for more)

In the still of the night, just before sunrise, a magnificent creature builds its nest. You stop and watch as it carefully puts each spice, clove, and branch that lay before it in place with meticulous detail. As you stand and watch, you are struck by the tiredness of the creature that is clearly evident – though in no way takes away from its beauty. The sun begins to rise and the bird begins to stretch. Its feathers are a beautiful hue of gold and red – the Phoenix.

It cranes its head back as it sings a haunting melody that stops the sun itself in the sky. A spark falls from the heavens and ignites a great fire that consumes both bird and nest – but not to worry. In three days, the Phoenix will rise from its ashes and be born anew.

This is my Phoenix. It could use more flames and updated color, but I’m fine with its fading and becoming more “me” and less “art.”


19 thoughts on “THE RISING OF THE PHOENIX – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Pingback: IN THE SPIRIT OF DOING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING … Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  2. I always wanted to get a wreath of roses (and leaves) around one of my ankles (I wasn’t picky about which), and I even designed one, but alas, it was not to be. First my step-son informed me that of all the places on the body to get a tattoo, the ankle is among the most painful. I’m sort of a wimp about deliberate pain. Second, Diabetes. It’s not a great idea for anyone with my diabetic ‘status’ to get a tattoo. It’s possible the thing would never heal or would become so infected i’d end up losing a limb or a digit or something and no thanks. So I look at others’ tattoos and I admire. From a distance. Your artwork is magnificent by the way.


    • It’s much less painful to get tattooed on a more fatty or muscular area. The closer you get to the bone, the more it hurts. But it’s not a jump through the window kind of pain at its worst. I picked a calf because I didn’t think it would hurt all that much … and it took three days to finish. Had to wait for the lines to dry and then for the colors to set … and finally, for the flames to get finished. Smaller ones are easier and MUCH faster.


    • And it meant something to me, at least at that point. I didn’t think it would be quite so big, but I designed it. When the artist traced it, he didn’t reduce its size — which I expected him to do — so it is the same size as my original drawing.

      The colors were MUCH brighter 20 years ago and if I use skin cream or oil, they perk up, but I’ve got enough other physical stuff going on. Fading is sometimes okay.

      It may be my best personal doodle 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I was 54 when I had it done. I always thought I’d get ONE small one, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I had just had a second surgery to repair the ulcers in my gut, so I felt that somehow, I was the Phoenix that year. I also have Phoenix earrings and a necklace.

      It’s not all that painful, but the real problem is deciding what you want, where you want it and why. Too many tattoos saying “Mom” or something patriotic and not enough that has something personal to say about the individual.

      Liked by 1 person

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