Have you ever thought about what you would ask for if you could be given superpowers? I often have and I always come to the same conclusion — I would want to read people’s minds. Whenever I give that answer others raise their eyebrows and think WHY!?! For me my biggest pet peeve, or strongest pain point, is trust and honesty. I often wonder how often are others really telling the truth and how often are they telling you what they think you want to hear.
I can take it — give me what you really think. I truly believe being honest and direct while sometimes hard — it is the only way to go truly deep. Going deep brings people closer together, it creates trust, bonds, and often allows others to open up. When we stay on the surface and never go deep, what is there to bring you closer together? Think about it in relation to a flower – the deeper the root the harder to pull out of the ground. I want those close to me in my life to have roots that are deep, and I would rather pull the loose flowers and remove them from my life.
Back to the superpower of reading minds. Many that have heard that as my response think “you would go crazy with all that information” and I think maybe, but it would be reality. A fun conversation with a friend last night makes me think of one other superpower that would be fun to have — but maybe slightly malicious. Have you ever been in a meeting with someone and they just got under your skin? They were rude, or condescending, or did not treat you with respect. You want to put them in their place, but you might not have the leverage to do so. Our fun conversation circled back to how fun (or funny) it would be if you had the power to make them poop their pants in a meeting every time they were rude to someone, or maybe a loud fart came from them. Maybe not the nicest thing to think about, but it might provide the comic relief to break barriers (among other things).
From time to time I ponder getting a tattoo. I have an idea of what I would get, potentially around my wrist. It would be small and almost like a piece of jewelry. My problem? I cannot stand the sight of needles. They freak me out, whether if it is for a blood test, or to pen a part of me permanently. The pain does not matter so much, I have a high tolerance for that, it is the thought of the needle and the blood that comes after said needle. I get woozy, faint, and useless. Yet, somehow I still kind of want a tattoo.
So when I finished reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline I thought again about a tattoo. I was intrigued by this novel just from the title. It resonated with me. As an orphan myself, I wondered what it was about and if I would be interested. It was a quick read novel, and it easily sucked me in. A one sentence synopsis: A girl who is basically an orphan does community service (or go to juvenile corrections) with a 93-year-old woman, they bond, and learn that the woman lost her entire family when she was nine in a fire. You can imagine what happens, but it is the rich story that pulls at your heart-strings.
So what does Orphan Train have to do with tattoos? This quote shares a bit more:
“The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin. People get tattoos to have a permanent reminder of things they love or believe or fear, but though she’ll never regret the turtle, she has no need to ink her flesh again to remember the past. She had not known the markings would be etched so deep.” page 214
There are so many things I have experienced in life that have etched deep markings on my soul, my brain, and my body. Physical events that have taken a toll on my body. Experiences that have been etched in my brain (both good, amazing, bad, and horrible). Many I would never want etched into my skin. My memories are reminders enough. Sometimes we forget how deep the pain has seeped into our skin. Other times we are reminded of the touch of another and how deep that runs in our veins. The touch that calms us, brings tears to our eyes, and who we really are is brought back to the surface. The best invisible tattoo yet.