Friday, August 17, 2012

My Last Tattoo....Or Rather, My Most Recent!

I promised I would tell you about my tattoos. You've heard about my first, so here is my last. 

It says Tusitala and has a peacock feather underneath. I first remember reading about Tusitala in The Little Colonel series, by Annie Fellows Johnston. It's a series about a girl in the South (Kentucky), written and set in the early 1900's. I read the series when I was maybe around ten (??); it follows Lloyd, aka the Little Colonel, from around five years old into adulthood. Along the way, many of her friends are introduced. Two of them, Malcolm and Keith McIntyre, tell us the story of Tusitala and the Road of the Loving Heart. It's the story of Robert Louis Stevenson's friendship with the Samoans, who named him Tusitala, which mean Tale-Teller or Writer of Stories.

The phrase, "The Road of the Loving Heart", is a gospel in itself. "The day is not longer than his kindness "  is a new beatitude. Fame dies, and honours perish, but "loving-kindness" is immortal.  --  Annie Fellows Johnston

Later in the series, the story of the Road returns, having a profound effect on more of Lloyd's friends, Joyce, Betty and, especially Eugenia. She realized how selfish she had been and vowed to change her ways. As a result, Eugenia's father gives her a gold knot ring with Tusitala engraved inside the ring as a remembrance.

My parents gave me an opal ring (my birthstone) with Tusitala engraved inside, no doubt to encourage my own path of loving kindness. Unfortunately, that ring was lost in the lake many moons ago, but I always remembered the ring and the name inside. And, although I haven't always succeeded, I've tried to be loving and kind throughout my life.

However, I couldn't remember the story, so I did some research last summer. I was thrilled to find the Samoan meaning of Tusitala......Tale-Teller.

To me, it was like confirmation from the Universe that at least part of my path here is to be a writer. I've been writing for about fifteen years (steadily....sorta kinda) and have several allegories (I call them Spiritual Fables), one finished novel (to be published this fall!!!), one mostly finished novel (and my brilliant buddy, Jess Morrow, gave me some awesome feedback in the form of YES! Finish that mo' fo!), and the first several chapters of my third novel. But, even though my fables have been well-received by "regular" readers (ie not in the publishing biz), I've made several attempts to publish them as well as my first novel, with no success.

And, sometimes I wondered if I was wasting my time.

I told myself, "This is a story I want to tell. It doesn't matter if anyone reads it." It was a LIE, folks!  Hell yeah, I wanted other people to read it.....whatever "it" was. Writers write to be read. I like my stories, and I think they are important, in their own little way. Check out some of my Spiritual Fables and see what you think. I have more to post as well.......just sayin'.  

I like the novel that's about to be published too. It's a fictional version of a practice I had in my classroom -- connecting with kids through a monthly letter. It was amazing and I think all teachers, at every level, should give it a try. Parents and counselors....anyone who has anything to do with kids. It's a wonderful tool for getting kids to open up, as well as passing along the wisdom that is only gained through experience.

So while The Husband was out of town last summer (getting his own tats, I might add), I had my Tusitala tat inked, officially accepting my path, my job, as a writer. Wooohooooooo!

Have you had validation from the Universe about a dream or a project? Did you commemorate it with something special?

Have you been there?


  1. Nice! Love hearing stories about tattoos that have significance to the bearer.

  2. I have two tattoos...the first was for my daughter's 35th birthday (it was we'd get tattoed together, or she'd try parachute jumping) and the second, was an act of grief for the suicide of my son. Both of us have meaningful tattoos.

  3. Me too! And there's always a story! lol

  4. Oh, Suzy.....I'm so sorry for your loss.

  5. I'm so glad you loved the feedback on ze novel! xo


Yes! I've been there, Claire!