may your life be a Walden Pond swim

Well. I have to say that 2017 is not off to a stellar start. It doesn’t help that for so many of us, we only got through last year by putting all the awfulness onto 2016 itself (“can’t wait for 2016 to end!”) — as irrational and short-sighted as that seems now.

This new year dawned with the crushing realization that we were just weeks away from the inauguration of a mentally unsound narcissist who’s surrounded himself with other mentally unsound narcissists. Ever since then, it’s been an unending episode of The Twilight Zone.

Two action items came to mind for combating the mounting fear and dread of what will come from a Drumpf administration between now and his inevitable impeachment (and then from the equally despicable Pence): (1) get involved locally and (2) find ways to feel empowered.

To this end, I attended Boston’s Women’s March on January 21 followed by a visit to my local tattoo parlor.

There was a veritable sea of people at Boston Common. It was wild and beautiful. The train line was so crowded that we ended up walking about two miles to get there with a few hundred others who had the same idea.

But it is possible, even after time spent with thousands upon thousands of like-minded and equally enraged compatriots, to still feel helpless. Hence the decision to engage in the oddly empowering act of getting inked.

With this plan in mind, I spent the first few weeks of 2017 toying around with designs. I finally settled on this.

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A Marking (c) Molly Wunderli

This design combines two powerful symbols: the circle and the tree. To me, they represent strength, endurance, renewal, growth, and vitality. Certainly, these are attributes I’ll be needing in the coming months, and a visual reminder will come in handy.

I quickly learned, however, the limitation of tattoo design, especially when you’re wanting a rather small piece. There was also the additional limitation of artist-roulette when doing a walk-in. Thankfully, I got paired with a cool artist who humored my many requests.

Unsurprisingly, the artist in me wants to tweak a few things with the design now that I see it on my skin and inked in (which I’ll see about getting done at some point in the future). But I’m still immensely pleased that I did this and on that day of protest and action in particular.

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