When I was twenty eight, I got my first tattoo. I had spent months thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my new understanding of my life. I was recently separated from my husband and finally enrolled in a college that I would graduate from. This was a completely selfish goal, one that I had brought into my marriage but had failed to meet. Married to a Marine, I had moved from New York to Florida to California and back to Florida, leaving myself with a resume of three attempts at earning a degree at three different colleges. It was as a student at the college from which I finally graduated that I came to understand that literature and writing were my only true passions, the only ones I would ever be able to pursue.
I designed the tattoo myself. It was one word in my own handwriting, with blooming vines wrapping and climbing among the letters. Beloved. This was the title of the book that had ten years earlier planted the seed of desire to study literature and to do what that author, Toni Morrison, had done and was continuing to do. Touch other spirits with words. Incense, incite, inspire. (Photo: Tricia’s butterfly tattoo) Continue reading On Loving Regret