For years I collected Kuan Yin statues. One year for my birthday or for Christmas, my husband bought me everything Kuan Yin-related that he could find. The tour guide on my first trip to Taiwan gave me a wooden statue of her that he had in his home.
I had planned some day to get a Kuan Yin tattoo. After my first tattoo, I’d considered getting something else almost on a lark and then Kuan Yin let me know it was her turn. When a goddess tells me it’s time, I listen.
And so I went to the tattoo artist who did my first tattoo and told her what I was looking for. It turned out she had several books with Kuan Yin images for source material. And I knew I had found the right person for the job. So I started with an image I liked and we went from head to toe and figured out exactly how I wanted her to look. One of the most important things to me was to have make her robes and ribbons look like they were flowing. I wanted something that I couldn’t get in a statue of her.
She is with me now all the time. Sometimes the tattoo itches when she has a message for me (this is a few years after getting the tattoo). Sometimes, like this week, it’s just because I am covered in bug bites while camping. When I went to China a few years ago, some people stopped me and gave me a thumbs up when they saw the bottom of the tattoo peeking out from my shirt sleeve.
Kuan Yin is with me now always. I see her every day. My spiritual work became a much bigger part of my life after I got her on my arm. I also feel her presence when doing photography. It is not a coincidence that I remain a loyal Canon user. The company was named after her and cameras are her eyes. In a later post, I’ll write about a devotional photography project I’ve been working on.
Note: This series was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion idea. If you want to participate, go there for the list of daily prompts.