Friday, January 10, 2014


We picked up this little pencil drawing of dragonflies on September 30th 2012 when we drove down to Lutsen and back exploring the artist studios open for the Crossing Borders Studio Tour. The drawing is by Betsy Bowen and is an original illustration from the book Hawk Ridge by Laura Erickson. I didn't know at the time where we would hang it, and for many months it lived propped up on the bookshelf in the living room. 

When I started decorating Finn's nursery it was a natural fit in the room, and thinking back it would have been the first thing I chose to hang on the wall (that and the giraffes playing in the pond painting)... 

September 30th 2013 was the first day I had to learn to live without my little boy. I didn't open my eyes.

It was some time in late summer, I was home alone, hot, hiding in the living room which seemed to be the coolest room in the house with very little, if any, direct sunlight with the fan blowing on me. I would bounce on the exercise ball while listening to satellite music streaming through the television... when Cradle Song (Holy Nazan) by Norma Winstone began to play I was mesmerized. I quickly downloaded the song and added it to my lullabies playlist. It was such soothing and beautiful music I listened to it repeatedly for the rest of my pregnancy to relax, fall asleep, and dream of holding my baby. When in labour it was the song I listened to most. I imagined these little pencil dragonflies fluttering around to the music...

I haven't been able to listen to the song since.

That is why there are dragonflies surrounding my two tattoos - ten in total for the day's Finn lived.

The Chinese characters came from Sarah (my acupuncturist - and very special friend). In the first few weeks home after losing Finn I was such a mess (obviously)... Sarah would come to the house to treat me, absolutely life saving sessions, not just for the needles but for her calming and healing energy. I'd fall into the deepest sleeps after being with her for an hour. When I told her I was getting Finn's footprint tattooed on my foot she told me about this acupuncture point - located on the dorsal aspect of the foot, between the fourth and fifth metatarsal bones - known as Zu (foot) Lin (to face forward, to arrive at, to overlook) Qi (tears, to weep, [silent tears]) 'Foot Overlooking Tears'
For how important Sarah has been on this journey to have a baby, and for how much she has helped me heal, it was really important to me to include her. The characters are in her handwriting (as best copied by Remy the tattoo artist) and will always bring me back to those early days when the grief was so deep. It's all part of me now.

I'm not ready to share my other tattoo yet. Someday...

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