Newest Ink and Tattoo Life Lessons

So yesterday I got yet another new tattoo. The not-so-Scottish blood that flows through my veins was sort of adopted into the Scottish culture via immersion in the bagpipe/pipe band scene and I just had to have something Scottish themed. Well, I figured this was appropriate:


A bit of background: the dagger shown is what’s called a “sgian dubh” – literally “black knife” in Scottish Gaelic. It is a utility knife worn under the kilt hose that has both eating and fighting purposes – not only was it a knife that could cut food it was also a first line of defense for fighting.

When in full regalia I do wear one just for show (that’s blunted) but even then you can’t carry weapons in certain places. For this reason, I figured I’d get a sgian dubh tattooed on my calf at some point but I just didn’t know it was going to be this soon! Alas, I thought to myself and thought why just do the dagger? Why not dress it up a bit? That’s where the Saltire flag came in.

At times the pain was intense, but bearable throughout. The really bad part is this morning! I actually had to take some pain killers because my leg aches something fierce. Oh well, it definitely is worth it. As always, you can read more about this and my other tattoos on the “My Tattoos” page (link in the menu bar).

Alas, it did occur to me while I was having the tattoo applied  yesterday that we can take a lot of life lessons away from tattoos. Sometimes some of the most beautiful things in life come as a result of pain. Tattoos certainly fit this category, but this is true even in other art forms: music, visual arts, theater, you name it. It’s even true in some things outside of the arts.

I guess the lesson to be had is that some of the best things in life are worth enduring anguish for. This sort of runs counter to some of my deeper moral/philosophical convictions, but that’s an argument for another day. Sure, you know something is going to hurt going into it, but if it is worth it in the end, embrace that pain and the journey that sends you to the more beautiful place in your life.

6 thoughts on “Newest Ink and Tattoo Life Lessons

  1. I liked it. The tattoo and the message behind. Also, the ending. It is so true. The endurance of the anguish and agony is worth it as long as it is taking us closer to our destination. Keep smiling!


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