An Eye Is Upon You - 208: A Matter of Perspective

Published: 06 February, 2012 - Featured in Skin Deep 208, February, 2012

Paula has taken some time off this issue – which leaves me to fill in the blanks. Back to normal next issue, but in the meantime…

Tattoo Freeze just so happens to have wrapped itself up as this issue goes to print. We were pretty much done with the issue apart from a few pages, so reviews and photographs will follow next month, but something struck me about this show that I’d never noticed before – probably because I was sitting still for once.

A chance encounter meant that I got to meet a model. Yeah, yeah – another day, another dollar. That’s not quite how it went though. This model was something else. See, I get quite introverted when I’m cornered – and there’s nothing like being tattooed to corner you. I love meeting people – it’s one of my most favourite things, really, but when I’m getting some ink, all I want to do is be just like one of you and go to ‘the place’.

Anyway, one thing led to another and Lisa (Eagleton) and I got to talking. I honestly thought she’d never shut the hell up, but then she told me her story. The one about losing the bottom half of her leg after a serious accident.

Now I’m interested.

She told me how it changed her. How prior to the accident she was just a “...housewife – quite content to do my thing and keep the house above water.”

After the amputation of her leg, everything changed. She decided that it wasn’t going to hold her back and she threw everything in the arsenal at her life.

As we all know, there ain’t no shame in keeping your household going, but you can kind of see her train of thought. Something like that is a life-changer. No doubt about it.

Not ten minutes later, a guy goes past me in a wheelchair. I meant to get his name, but like I said, I was kind of stuck to a chair for a little while. He was busy taking photographs of, well, an awful lot of stuff. Using a stick and his mouth to operate the camera, his elbow to drive his chair – it was pretty impressive. If you’re out there buddy, drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

Then, a couple of hours after this, I’m walking through the main hall past the various minstrels who have been touting their song-wares throughout the day and I see that the guy on the stage playing guitar is missing his right arm from the elbow down. Again, busy, busy and I missed the chance to catch up with him once he had finished (and likewise – please get in touch). It was one of those times were you need to check that you’re really seeing what you think you are. Is that guy really playing guitar better than I do right now with, let’s face it, a heavy disability for a guitarist? It was quite something. I had some vague plan a few months back to put a ‘temporary’ acoustic band together, rustle up a few friends and play some tunes at Freeze, but I got caught up in real-life and it never quite hit the ground. So instead of playing my ass off knocking out a down-tuned version of ‘I Kissed A Girl’, I simply stood there feeling a) ashamed of myself for not finding the time and b) being totally knocked-out that somebody in a less than perfect situation could.

These guys weren’t the only ones. It’s the tip of a very large iceberg but it begs the question – and I’m sure all of these guys would agree with me – what are you waiting for? If there’s something in your heart that you feel you should be doing, for your own sake, get on with it. Don’t wait for the Gods to throw a spanner in the works to find that you really have got the juice to do it.

I’m sure Lisa would give anything to turn back the clock and say she was a pole-dancer, but with a killer attitude about life, she is now (as far as we know), the UK’s only amputee pole-dancer.

Kudos. Much of it.

Afterword:

If anybody out there has got a great story to tell with a spin on this, I’d love to hear from you. Great ink is a must as are tip-top photographs, apart from that, pretty much anything goes. Mail us at editor@skindeep.co.uk. What we’re looking for is great positive stories to come out of bad situations. The fact that people with indomitable spirit choose to align themselves with tattoo is one of those things in life that shouldn’t be passed over so easily...

Credits

Text: Sion Smith

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