Every so often someone comes along to remind me why I love this project — Karma has made it clear that seeing these photos have really had a positive impact on her. If my photography can play even just a little part in improving someone’s outlook, I guess I’m doing something right.
About Karma’s Tattoos
I firmly feel that tattoos should be an expression of the individual. I do not see them as decoration, but as a way to remind one self of the things that make us unique and beautiful. Every tattoo has meaning and is pivotal to me during a huge part of my life. Whether it marks something simple or significant, they are each powerful reminders of where I was, am, and will be in life, love, and relationships.
With that being said, my first tattoo is the Celtic tricycle in the small of my back. I got that one when I turned eighteen years old. The importance of the tattoo is that my dad’s family is Irish and the tricycle also brings good luck. I am pretty superstitious and I thought having it would bring me good things. I got my second tattoo on my right wrist. I wanted a piece that would be connected to the Irish again and selected the Celtic knot of life. I got that one right after both my children were born.
The Chinese symbols in the center of my shoulder blades mean “good friend”. I actually made sure that was what they meant by my friend that can speak and read fluent Chinese. I got it at Tattoo Mania in Hollywood back in 2004.
The rest of my tattoos have a strong, significant meaning to me as they were after I managed to leave a ten year long abusive marriage. I was living in Germany and had just started skating roller derby with Kaiserslautern’s team, Roller Girls of the Apocalypse. I had just passed my very first minimum skills assessment, including my 25/5 (back before the 27/5) and had just selected my approved derby name. My students helped me design the tattoo. The one on the back of my neck has the skates with wings with my number, 82, between. Then beneath is my original name, Karma-Killer. It was such a huge accomplishment and I had felt so empowered I wanted to remember it forever. Then I moved to Colorado Springs and had skates added to my left shoulder with my current derby name, Karma.
After the skates I had the circle tattoo added to the right shoulder. It was done by Jeremy Misery at 3rd Layer Tattoo in fountain. The symbol is the Buddhist symbol for Karma. It was added during a time when I was feeling particularly at peace with myself and since then have a deep love of this piece.
The quote on my ribcage is also very special to me because it was translated into Latin by my mentor and the quote itself is also important because it reminds me that “change does not roll in on wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle”. I have had a lot of obstacles that I have had to overcome, some with support but most without. This one is a reminder that I can do anything I want or need to do.
The three circles on my left inside wrist are actually punctuation. I teach English and love the ellipses and what they are intended to do within the structure of a sentence. Yeah ellipses means that there is more to come, the story isn’t finished, what is next is a mystery…
That is pretty perfect for where I am in my life right now. I don’t know what is next. I don’t know where my life will go. But I do know that I am happy and excited for the adventure.
The most recent tattoo I have is the one on my right calf. It is the first one on my legs and was done by one of my team mates from Rocky Mountain Roller Girls, Sweetie Ramone. The tattoo is a stamp with my new home team’s logo in the center. The United States Pummeling Service! The date in the logo is the actual transfer date for when I joined RMRG.
Overall I think tattoos are an amazing expression of life, love, and all our stories. I definitely plan to get more as each phase of my life continues.