The In-Between

This is a picture of my new tattoo. It’s on my left calf and is 9 stones stacked.

I got a tattoo today.

It is a tattoo of a rock cairn. (Yes, it’s pronounced Karen).

I don’t always know where I’m going, but I always know I’m on the right path. I know this because I have a deep sense of faith in my intuition.

My intuition is the boss of me, and I listen to her. She never steers me wrong. Intuition is what I call higher power/God/source/the universe. My intuition is God talking to me.

Now I have a cairn to give me gentle reminders that I’m going the right direction, even though I already know I am. The cairn is a gentle reminder while up on the mountain, or down in the valley, that I am headed in the right direction. I have just hiked in for hours. My breathing is labored. My back aches. I’m bloody, bruised, and sweaty. But I know I am headed where I need to go.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there. I will get there in my own time, and with my own style. It doesn’t matter that other people got there years ago, or 15 minutes ago, or are still at the trailhead. My path is my path, no one else’s. While out in the wilderness the sight of a cairn lets me know I’m held. I’m part of the knowing. I’ve come this far, and turning back is not an option. The only way out is through.

Climb the boulders now, Jen. You’re getting close to the next resting stop on the bridge of life.

Four Dances Park

The cairn represents a lot of things to me right now. It is the symbol I have chosen for my cancer tattoo. The lessons gained from having had cancer are balance and reverence along with the pain and transformation.

The cairn is the symbol I have chosen for the ending with my love. I can’t talk about that much at all still, it is acute, and deeply painful.

The cairn is also the symbol I have chosen for what I’ve learned so far, including what I’ve learned from Covidlandia.

We carry our lessons in our hearts. I also carry them on my skin.


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