“To remove my tattoos would be to erase my past. And then who would I be?”
Ink is everywhere. Many people have tattoos these days, and your Barista is likely one of them. Wearing our emotions on our aprons; consistently designing latte art; talking to a variety of folks; using our hands in intricate ways. A cafe is really an art gallery, and making coffee is creatively demanding work. Though we can seem like a bitter bunch, our tattoos are not a sign of anger, suppressed sadness, or an indication that we have some scary secrets to hide. Quite the opposite.
Ink is art. It’s a personal representation of one’s journey through colour, images, and symbols. For some, like me, pictures speak louder than words. Others have difficulty articulating their stories, or sharing their thoughts with anyone; their tattoos make their exteriors’ vibrant as their spirits, giving their shy silence a voice. My tattoos shine brighter than the skin I’m living in.
Ink is healing. Tattoos breathe. They move. They are penetrable. Unlike scars, they are not a defence against outsider attacks. They welcome you. They beg you for conversation. They share with you, enlighten you. They promote healing through dreaming, and send a message that anything is possible; nothing can not be redesigned, or repackaged.
Ink is hope. Instead of scars, wounds can be replaced by birds, flying freely, and filling their wearer, and observers, with inspiration. Instead of masking struggle with pain, and pain with hurt, and hurt with anger, why not try ink? It’s the cry for hope instead.
Ink is life. Tattoos, even in their permanent nature, are a reminder that each moment we throw away with our coffee cups is precious, salvageable. While we cannot change our history, we can add our own perspectives. Some like their coffee black, others prefer milky tea, just as my glistening ink soothes my hectic routine. Tattoos are my passport stamps, highlighting where we’ve been. A tattoo is an admonition that there’s more out there yet to live. Just let your imagination guide you.
Inked is a damn fine Barista.