Are these Christian tattooists in the paper any strangerâ€”Simon Stylites spent a life standing on a stone pillar, sixty feet upâ€” did not come down for cramps or winter rain.
Could I survive the Sacred Heart with â€śHail, Mary, Full of Graceâ€ť across my arm, or the crucifixion in three colors against my sternum between my breasts. Needles to skin over soft tissue is less painful, but flesh is grass and sagsâ€” art lasts best close to bone.
No stranger than hair shirts, hundreds of needles for hours, for days, even years, to get the complete St. Michael on my shoulder to the writhing, twisting dragon down my leg. Or my whole life to get the Last Supper with Stations of the Cross, and the proper textâ€” Jesusâ€™ words in redâ€” covering every inch of skin, eyelids, lips, nose, between fingers and toes, while invisible capillaries under the skin carry the images molecule by molecule into the living catacombs of bone.