Scars and Ink

Posted on June 18, 2012


There are really only two instances that make me think about being a cutter when I was young:

When I get a new tattoo.

When I begin a new relationship.

Copyright Tracy Rubino

Not that it doesn’t come up every once in a while whilst digging around in my soul garden…it’s just that these two things make me sit and really consider the nature of my youthful association to pain and how it is expressed in my adult life. Not that I’ve unearthed a fully developed answer about it… all I can say that it was a part of me and perhaps still is in an assimilated sort of way and… no. No it doesn’t define me.

I am not a lover of pain. I am not a masochist. I am not a sadist.

I simply am.

It has been so long since “that time” & my scars have faded to white flat spaces on my arms and hips and belly and breasts.

Barely noticeable.

If you ask me about it – I will be completely honest or completely dishonest depending on the day. I don’t lie to be protective – I do so because the width and breadth of my life isn’t tied up in these scars. I don’t tell the truth to humor anyone– I do it because part of my growth is knitted into my long healed flesh and if that growth helps others tend their soul garden I offer the knowledge freely.

This is me being honest in case you were wondering.

I was -as many children are- caught up in the trials of being young. Uncertain and unbridled. Seeking and emotional and self-loathing. My soul acted first and considered later. Many times that action was tethered to the need to feel or the need to escape. All of my responses found root in the soft little heart that beats beneath the curve of my ribs.

Not all of my responses were appropriate or necessary or sane…in fact my crazy pants nature began to manifest then. All of the things that happened during this time are puzzled pieces of my life and I would never ask for anything more or different …of course some part of me mourns for that little girl full of fucking hurt and during the darkest of dark nights (usually the short days of winter) I think that my scars are the braille of a story writ to recount the times when I was too soft to live and too viciously optimistic to die.

Lovers and Ink

I like to get inked to feel.

I like to get inked to mark the passage of time.

I would not have been able to tell you these things until recently. Until recently I just felt this urge and filled in a new piece of flesh with color and meaning…always meaning. With age I’ve become more fully present with my own story and how the syntax of this story is bound up in my flesh.  I like that my life will be read in metaphor across my body – my thoughts and feelings and beliefs tied together with age lines and silvery scars and ink. When I die I hope to be translated like a map or the caves at Lascaux.

There is always one for a cutter.

The one that marked the end. The one that bit too deep and brought terror with the blood and carved room to consider the nature of the beast.

My one is private and is the only scar I have of which I am embarrassed – no that’s not right – perhaps protective is the word. I don’t speak about it in the “real world” because it belongs to a different more private place – the place of skin and sweat and trust. Only my lovers have seen the tattoo’s that mean the most to me & only lovers have seen the scars that hurt me the most.It belongs to this place.

A lover’s place.

I am awkward in it– being unwrapped and displayed. Shedding clothing for a lover and bracing for the questions, knowing that I can only answer honestly. Usually I try to make jest but eventually the questions become more poignant and with the poignancy comes my story. Scar by scar my story. Tattoo by tattoo my story. Not one has left the story unspoken and I think that is a testament at least to the people I choose to love – dreamers and weavers of tales all.

I am getting a new tattoo this Saturday thus my musing about this at length.

Thanks for listening…this is a cathartic place for me and you are my muse of sorts.

Have I worked out the mechanics of  this? No. I haven’t. I think to do so I would need prescience greater than afforded to the average human. At the very  least, at 31 I can say that I am giving it thought  and have unearthed that this is a part of me and perhaps a part that is attempting to actively define who I am in this ocean of chaos… and then there is simply the chaos and that in itself is a story…all stories I guess…

Signing off with love always –


Posted in: Lessons, Life