If you ask me what it means, I will tell you this.
I had a trusted wingwoman with me. I was wearing my sturdiest underwear, the kind that scream “granny panties” right on up to their high waistband in the most unsexy shade of taupe. I slept on it for the better part of two years. I was ready. I am 42, goddammit. If not now, when?
I got inked.
I didn’t reach the decision lightly or quickly. I had gone over one design for a long time and scrapped it when it didn’t feel right. But another one kept appearing in my mind and I couldn’t let it go.
We are a family of three (though you count the dog, so maybe it’s four). A solid, stable triangle. It is a shape I see everywhere now, ever since you were born. In fact, there is a song sung by Elizabeth Mitchell that brings me to my knees whenever I hear it. Three is the Magic Number. We played it a million times, you and me, in the car, those long evening rides from daycare to home. I notice patterns of three daily it seems, and they seem to glow with significance.
But, a single triangle didn’t seem sufficient. So I searched a bit. I learned an upside down triangle usually denotes femininity. I liked that.
And then I learned something else: we are both earth signs. I never realized this before. You a Virgo, me a Capricorn. That’s an upside down triangle with a line through the bottom third (the alchemical version of the symbol). I was getting excited because it felt like I was getting close. What’s more, and though it wasn’t my intention, I eventually also realized that my mother, mother-in-law, and all three of my sisters-in-law (your aunts) are also earth signs (three Virgo, two Taurus). And had your one girl cousin been born on time, she would’ve been an earth sign too; in my mind, she counts. What are the chances of all the women in my closest family being this symbol too? Slim for sure.
Still, I wasn’t quite there.
The phrase in medias res kept coming into my mind during this whole process. It means
in the midst or middle of things
It’s a device used in short stories, which I am in love with writing and reading. In that context, it means don’t start at the beginning. Get to the meaty middle where the action is already happening. You don’t have enough time or words to do otherwise.
I think it also best describes where I am in life right this very moment. Though isn’t it also true at any point of our lives? Are we not always in the middle of things, much of the story already behind and still yet ahead of us, yet those portions often go unmentioned, untold while we are living in the present. By living in the middle of things, I am forcing myself to let go of my nature to worry about future and past events that I cannot alter. I’m certainly nearing the middle of my actual lifespan too, a fact that felt poignant as I made the decision to get this done at this particular moment. Knowing that, I want to center and be reminded every day of our family, of you, of important women in my life, and of myself.
And so, that is what it all means.
Copyright (c) 2016 Kristen M. Ploetz