I frequently get asked about my tattoos, of which I have four. The above is my Kokopelli. Kokopelli’s origins may date as far back as the Aztecs, though usually he is associated with the Southwest Native American tribes, in particular the Hopi. He is a symbol of fertility, a bringer of spring to the earth, a prankster, a joyful dancer over the earth returning it to life after winter is over.
I got my Kokopelli two years after my ex and I split up. We had separated and then…sort of “dated” for about two years before he decided he wanted to get remarried. At that time I was still hopeful that we might, somehow, reconcile, that he and I and Ad would all live happily ever after together. When he decided to get remarried I knew that dream was exactly that: a dream. It wasn’t ever going to happen, and never had been going to. That was the day I realized that it truly was over for good-and I started to move forward in my own life, finally.
About a year before we split, my ex got a beautiful Kokopelli on his shoulder blade, his only tattoo. When I realized it was well and truly over, I wanted something to memorialize our 15 years together, to commemorate and honor the love we had had for each other, a visual reminder of the passing of that part of my life. I also wanted something that spoke of this new life that I was embarking on. Joyful, dancing Kokopelli (my ex’s is the more traditional hunch-backed image) was what I chose.
A few months ago one of my children asked me about it. “Why’d you get a tattoo like Dad’s after you split up?” he asked. “Because,” my daughter said, “just because they aren’t married doesn’t mean their marriage never happened, or that they didn’t love each other. They still do. They just want to live their lives differently. Mom wants to remember that, and honor that.” My son nodded, and smiled, and reached out to stroke Koko gently, almost reverently. “That’s really, really nice, Mom,” he said. I have some fucking awesome children.
For more information on Kokopelli, go here.