Friday, June 8, 2007

Tattoo You: Invitation to Write #13

For Writers:

It’s a hip thing to do, to get a tattoo.

The idea of joining the inked masses has crossed my mind on a number of occasions, but at this point I’m still ink free. The main reason for that: I haven’t found anything so soaked full of meaning that I wanted to leave an indelible mark on my body with it.

Over the past decade, however, many people have started getting tattooed as a kind of fashion accessory. Statistics indicate that over one-third of people in the 18-29 age range now have at least one tattoo. Why? One of the main reasons given is to feel “sexier.”

The non-tattooed majority still hold prejudicial thoughts against folks with tattoos, though, with opinion polls indicating that those without tattoos find those with tattoos to be less intelligent, less sexy, and overall, less attractive. Nevertheless, fully one-third of the 100 sexiest women, as determined by FHM magazine, have tattoos.

At the moment, tribal tattoos are the most en vogue, followed by crosses, stars, and dragons. But leave it to my wife, Linda, who is always thinking outside the box. If she were ever to ink her body, she’d sport the likeness of Papa Smurf.

Today, think about tattoos. If you have one (or more), write about the meaning and significance it has for you. If you do not have one, would you consider getting one? Why or why not? And if yes, what would you get, and where would you put it?

“Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past.”
Jack London

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Paradise -- Invitation to Write #12

For Writers:

When my wife and I visited Hawaii for the first time a few years ago, we both thought that this might be the place. Stepping out of the airport, the first thing to greet us was a rainbow, and the temperature stayed at a constant 80 degrees for our entire visit.

I have an aunt that claims it takes an artist’s eye to see the many variations in the shades of green in nature, but then she’s never been to Hawaii. Hundreds of shades of green were growing everywhere.

Paradise is easier to imagine than to experience, just as anticipation often times trumps attainment. I would assume that it is hard-wired into each of us to be difficult to please, but how can a place like Hawaii start to get old after just a few days? But it did, and we were ready to go home. Home might not be paradise, but the paradox is, it doesn’t need to be.

What is your idea of paradise? Try to describe it in physical terms. Is it a place you’d want to live, or is it a place just best to visit? Can you make a home in paradise?

“Travel is a fool’s paradise.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Reference Letter from God -- Invitation to Write #11

For Writers:

People are busy, and acknowledging that fact, I hate asking anyone for favors that will eat away their precious time. As I know from personal experience, writing a reference letter can be a chore, and needless to say, the person doing the requesting always needs it written and sent out immediately. The sense of urgency is probably a good thing, though, because if given an ample amount of time – two or three weeks would certainly seem helpful – it would just be far too easy for the reference writer to procrastinate and forget.

When I first started asking people for references, usually professors to support my applications to graduate schools, I would often write the letters myself. Sometimes my professors would look at me like I was crazy to hand them a completed reference letter that I had written for them to sign; but I’m sure that some of them simply signed their names at the bottom, secretly glad that they didn’t have to take the time to write anything themselves.

What if you needed to ask God to write a letter of reference for you? Explore the kinds of things that might be included in such a reference letter. Would you have the chutzpah to write your own reference letter, expecting God just to sign off on it without reading it first?

"Call on god, but row away from the rocks."
Indian proverb