Is That a Grammy on Your Arm or Are You Just Happy to See Me

Is That a Grammy on Your Arm or Are You Just Happy to See Me

Is That a Grammy on Your Arm or Are You Just Happy to See Me via @shuggilippo

I’ve wanted to get a tattoo to pay homage to the larger part of me that is made up by music.

It needed to be something that represented the versatility of my love affair with music. The shared breath of intricacy and simplicity of each integral, moving part of the beauty I find in this one, singular piece of expression. From the extensive range of emotional story sharing to the way the beat makes my booty drop, it had to be something.

“You’re so into tech & digital, why not something like an iPod,” Joe asked genuinely over the buzz of the gun.

“Because there’s no way I can start a conversation with an admirer of the degree of this art if it’s something everyone recognizes,” I replied with a smile and an unfaltering skip to a balls joke. (It was a tattoo parlor after all and, well, it is also me.)

Music makes up more parts of me than I think I’ve ever really shared here. Sure I plant some ear worms on you from time to time, but every major milestone in my life is dogeared to a soundtrack that outshines each one.

I’ve played music since the day I can remember; the cello when it towered over my head by many inches, the flute when I tired of the strings, the keys when I wanted to be like every synth-pop band I heard on the airwaves, the recorder, the spoons. I’m my own biggest fan in the shower when it comes to my vocal chords and I’ll sing-song the motherfuck out of any phrase worth sing-songing.

Is That a Grammy on Your Arm or Are You Just Happy to See Me

Music helped me discover my own body. I discovered its ability to move. Its sheer power. Its unexpected endurance. Its impenetrable strength. Its raw sensuality. But most importantly I discovered, its beauty. I dare you to turn on a classical piano composition, stand in front of a mirror naked and not discover how breathtakingly beautiful it is, the body staring back at you. My body was something that, for years, I allowed to be abused by self-inflicted substance and careless exhaust. Simply something as a vessel that made the things in my mind possible to carry out because of the limbs and the static, monotonous movement. For a brief moment even, I allowed its movement to the beautiful music to paint a picture less becoming of the person aching to shine beneath its skin. Then a side of music peeked its head around the corner in my ear drums and helped me realize I was (physically) built for greater things.

Is That A Grammy on Your Arm or Are You Just Happy to See Me? via @shuggilippo

I morphed music into my career for years which transformed fantastically into the family I nurture today. That “greater thing” music was telling me about had come to fruition. I could feel the infinite power of music as I bore life into the world. A world that can be, and has at times been, one of the scariest places to navigate yourself, let alone as a compass for another, on their way to discovering everything you’ve had the great fortune of discovering by now.

Music’s direction paved my course and I think that’s a pretty, damn sexy thing to pay homage to with my person.

(Plus I think it’s really great that strangers, like the server at Buffalo Wild Wings and the old, purple-haired lady at Whole Foods, think I won a Grammy and had it tattooed on my forearm. Because obviously that’s also totally something I would do.)

Do you have deep-meaning ink? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

  • Chris

    I don’t have any tattoos yet, Jessi, but I am considering getting that little picture of my son’s head in his Capt America helmet tattooed on my shoulder or arm.

    • shuggilippo

      I think what I love most about this is your ‘yet’ qualifier. That gives me hope and an overwhelming sense of peer pressure mode to activate…

      • Chris

        Can’t …handle…the…pressure

        • shuggilippo

          ::pushes her elbow into your ribs:: ::loses strength:: ::falls face first into you and slides awkwardly down the side of your body::

  • Very cool. Whoever did it, did a fantastic job.

  • Sharon Garofalow

    Nope, I have a dumb ass flower that I got at 18. It’s totally hidden so you only kind of see it if I wear a bikini. It was a very quiet rebellion. I love this post! Music is everything. I love sharing it with my kids. My youngest is resistant and I know, in time, he’ll embrace it like the rest of us and show us who moves his soul. And I love that people ask you if you won a grammy. Which I think the answer should be yes and in a category like “Guest Artist in Woodwinds” or some bullshit like that.

    • shuggilippo

      I usually like to respond with “Yes. I have a Grammy for playing spoons on a studio record.” Which is totally not a lie and was for a Grammy-award winning band, just not that song/record in particular. 😉

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