Tell me about your body modifications.
I have a tattoo on the inside of my right ankle. It’s a tree, right over my ankle bone, with the roots going down towards my foot and top creeping towards my calf. It has 207 (Maine’s only area code) on the trunk.
Why did you decide to get your body modifications? Why in those particular locations?
I was sitting around sketching one day and drew a tree there. I just fell in love with it. One of the perks of it being on my ankle was that I knew it would be wicked painful. For me, that served as a way to check my commitment to this tattoo.
Are your body modifications symbolic?
Well how could it not be? Ceci n’est pas un arbe. It’s highly symbolic. As an act, it was symbolic of me taking ownership of my body. As a piece of art, it’s a reminder of that sense of belonging crossing the state line gives me. I also just think it’s beautiful.
What, if any, were your inspirations (visual and otherwise) for your body modifications?
I was playing with types of trees because I was painting one on my wall. That’s all.
Do you ever feel you are stereotyped or judged for your body modifications?
My family was pretty horrified and some of my cousins were offended. My mom wouldn’t even let me get my ears pierced as a kid (I still don’t have any piercings), and then I went and got inked. I train in a Japanese style of karate, and given the sentiments that tattoos can conjure up in Japan (Yakuza…) I’m always a bit nervous going to the dojo.
What further body modifications are you considering? What is holding you back from getting them?
I don’t know if either of you have tattoos, but it’s addictive. You get such an endorphin rush. Of course I want more. I would like the word “magis” on my left shoulder blade, and the dojo kun on my ribs when I earn my shodan.
Anything else you would like to add?
A few years ago, I never thought I would be some tattooed biddy.