Monday, October 12, 2009


First, thanks to everyone who participated in “Friday Five.” I’ve got several new movies I want to watch. And if you haven’t posted your choices yet, it’s not too late.

Second, I asked my friend the Chemistry professor about my HEPA air purifier “channeling” radio stations (see The Voices post). He asked a few interesting questions like: “Have you recently moved the filter to a new plug in the room?” Actually, yes! And the voices co-responded with that change. Most likely the filter has an amplifier and the plug is mis-wired (common in older houses) so the plug/cord acts as an antenna.

Now on to the real post.

The other day, Ariel and I decided to do henna tattoos. Let me say up front that I hate tatts. Maybe it’s because they always remind me of the Nazis and the numbers they tattooed on forearms. Or maybe it’s because they make the skin look dirty, and I love the way skin looks in and of itself, especially the way it undulates over muscle and sinew. It only needs a touch of scent, maybe even just the clean smell of soap.

But tattoos from henna dyes can be beautiful—the intricate patterns of lace in a lovely red non-permanent dye. Perhaps it’s the association of henna with weddings, I’ll admit to being a bit of a romantic.

At any rate, Ariel and I mixed up some henna paste, and she did a little design on my shoulder, which took only ten minutes. Henna works by soaking into the skin, and the ten minutes of application is only the beginning. It was supposed to stay on the skin for 4 to 5 hours! Hello—I don’t have time for that! But I gave it at least three hours. Afterwards, Ariel scraped off the dye. “Did it work?” I asked. “Nope,” she said. “It’s kind of barely pink—like you feel asleep on something and it left a slight imprint on your skin.” Great, three hours for nothing.

After a lot of research, Ariel has determined that we made errors. Our henna paste wasn’t moist enough, and it should be warm and mixed with sugar and lemon juice. And henna "takes" better on the soles of the feet. Now she wants to do the bottom of my feet. I said, “Ariel, that means I can’t walk for 4 hours! That’s impossible.” She responded in her best you-are-such-a-silly-mother voice, “Just think of it as enforced writing time.”

Right. Enforced writing time…I think what she really wants is to see if I can actually sit still for four hours at a time. I can’t even do that during the night when I’m asleep. But maybe for lacy soles…as my mother and grandmother used to tell me, “Wie mooie wil gaan moet pijn doorstaan.” (A rough translation: She who would be beautiful must endure pain. You gotta love those semi-masochistic cultures.)


  1. I can imagine your children saying to one another: "Oh boy! Mom can't move for four hours! What do we do first?

  2. In our church in Israel there was a deaf man who would sit in front of us. He would watch the deaf translater with rapt attention. One day I was sitting on the floor(which I ended up doing most services for lack of better seating) and I noticed the tattoo on his arm. I am pretty sure it said 92. I just cannot get that guy out of my head. I had been regretting that I had not taken my camera...

    Ok, back in the real world, you sent me off into my thoughts again!

    Well, you can always try on the hands or legs, it works best on non-hairy areas:P

    Graec Duek

  3. I've been thinking about a tat since I turned 40 (9 years ago) and as you can see...I'm still thinking. A small one. A daisy on my shoulder blade since I carried daisies in my July wedding bouquet. But...will the look dead when I'm 80? I really want to subject myself to needles? Weren't c-sections enough?