Evergreen: My First Tattoo


"Yes, I'll take a shot", I answer. The creamy taste of coffee and liquor run down my throat, eager to numb me enough to make it through the next hour. But numb I am not. I am all here; nerve endings, proprioceptors and brain cells alert, and surprisingly willing. I think about my Dad, then I don't. I think about going to India in four weeks, then I don't. I think about tattoos and my Jewish heritage, then I very quickly don't. My thoughts are drowned as I hear the first buzzing of the needle. It's coming for me. Erica, relax your jaw and for God's sake, open your eyes all the way...you look like Gilbert Gottfried. It swipes my fair skin for the first time, then a thousand more times, this is no joke. Erica, breathe. Yellow, green, teal, brown, I can see my tree coming together. If anything, it tickles. If anything, it tickles. If anything, it tickles. If anything, it tickles.               That's what I keep telling myself...


Though I never planned on having a tattoo, I figured if I did, it would be because I'd finally had it all figured out; that life and the ecosystem in which I live made perfect sense and I was so sure that what I was about to put on my body was the only thing that could soulfully represent who I am and why I am here. I suppose by the time that happens, I'd be on my death bed and no matter what design I settled on, it would just look like Madonna eating corn through a picket fence. (No offense, Madonna). So now, at the age of twenty-eight, creamy white-girl skin still pulled taught, breasts still relatively perky and I've still got most of my brain cells, this feels like a great time.

I know I've permanently marked my body with a needle being dragged across my skin, filling it with ink and yet I didn't give it multitudes of thought. I have not been thinking about this design for five years or even five months. But I realize this Evergreen Tree on the inside of my ankle will forever represent this time and space in my life; twenty-eight years old, about to embark on a trip to India with my best friend, who reminded me that tattoos are just another way of documenting where you are at a certain point in life. So there, I'm just starting a new journal. Right?

Without further ado, this is the meaning of my tattoo. It is based on the ancient Druid Horoscope, which is represented in trees. I am an Evergreen...

In the dead of winter, when the countryside was dull, grey and blanketed with snow, the Evergreen brought color and life to the landscape with its cold and austere beauty. The Evergreen is symbolic of friendship, resilience, perceptiveness, longevity and honesty.

Evergreen people are very sensory-oriented and are drawn to dim lights and the aroma of perfumes.

Evergreen people love antique jewelry and other old things and they enjoy being a part of majestic celebrations. Despite this last attraction, and because they are capricious and not easy to live with, they often experience a strong sense of isolation, even among large groups of people. Those born under this proud and resolute sign do not give up until they've achieved their goal and they are not likely to fall under anyone's influence.

Evergreens can be very demanding and hard to negotiate with. Knowing and understanding their true value, they always try to get the most out of life and usually they manage to achieve it.

If an Evergreen ever falls in love, the experience shakes her/him to their core. Their love can be truly unconditional.

When Evergreen people have to choose between different options, they usually pick the most difficult path. That's because deep down they believe it is their destiny to create difficult situations for themselves. But whatever happens, Evergreens are very noble and one can fully rely on them. They remain optimistic through every endeavor and never lose their faith. However, Evergreen people usually neglect the small things because they prefer to focus on the big picture instead.

A big picture, indeed.