Lots of years ago, maybe nine or so, I wanted to get Bruce Springsteen lyrics tattooed onto me.
"I was burned by the angels, sold wings of lead/then I fell in the roses and sweet salvation of Maria's bed."
It was the aftermath of my dad dying. I was starting to emerge from the bottom of the grief pit.
"I don't know if you want to talk about the angels that way, forever," was what Tim had to say.
I'd been in it mostly for the roses and sweet salvation, Maria's bed having come to represent the first early inklings of 'surrender'. But he had a good point - calling the angels out, permanently, as burn-ers seemed unwise.
I pray in my shower every time I'm in there, asking for clear awareness of who or what I'm praying to.
But maybe it's Maria's bed and surrender and Holiness and God and The One. I think that maybe it doesn't matter, really.
I mean, right? How can it matter what the thing is if it's the biggest most knowing most loving thing we could ever try to imagine? How could my human words of definition matter?
So it's the feeling and the knowing that I'm after.
Which is why 'surrender' and 'paint my spirit gold' made it to the skin and 'burned' didn't.
I suspect that the focus on semantics is just a cozy, easy way for me to distract myself from the wonder of true surrender.
Which is why I have permanent words of reminder etched artfully into my skin.
Because I need to touch them when I forget what I know, and when I remember.
Namaste, sweet friend,