It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, people!
How I do love Shark Week. If you couldn't tell from my header, I'm a big fan of the finned ones. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been fascinated by them. When I was 6 or 7, I innocently sat down one night with my parents while they were watching Jaws on TV and it changed my life forever. Not only was I terrified to sit on the toilet for several days in fear that a shark would come up through the 4 inches of water in the bowl but I had learned of an animal that in its very image ignited a primal fear in people. It was amazing to think that there was such beast.
A year later I asked for a birthday cake with Jaws on it and whenever an ocean documentary was on TV, I would hope to see some shark footage. I learned more about these misunderstood creatures as I grew older and realized (as they say in all the documentaries now) that sharks really aren't out to get humans. Great Whites, Bull & Tiger Sharks are the top 3 types of sharks prone to attacking humans. But they tend to attack because they mistake humans for something delicious and nutritious like seals. The Great Whites are just unbelievably cool in their shape and features: streamlined, graceful, menacing and regal--worthy of great respect. I like all sharks but the Great Whites are my favorite.
When I was 21 and down visiting friends in California that summer, I decided to indulge a crazy notion that I should get a tattoo. I had been thinking about it for a good two years (as one should when considering getting a tattoo--it's a big commitment, just like marriage or a mortgage). And immediately I knew what it should be of. The one symbol that I have constantly gravitated toward. But not some stupid caricature, something classy. I looked through all the books and decided on this design because it looked almost tribal . And sometimes I feel that if I had a spirit animal or an Aumakua (benevolent guardian spirit in the Hawaiian tradition) the shark would definitely be it.
This is a somewhat stylized rendering of a hammerhead shark. Here is a picture of my tat about 2 days after it was done. I worked very hard to conceal it from my father for the 3 days before going back to college. When I returned for Christmas and he saw it...oh the disappointment. He stormed out of the room and upon returning 10 minutes later he said,"I hope it hurt." Let me assure you, it did.
I have never dived with sharks--only watched them on TV or in aquariums. My dream is to one day go to South Africa where the Great Whites leap out of the water and into the air as they hunt for seals. It is an amazing phenomenon.
I am not interested in cage diving however. I'm a bit claustrophobic so that would not work on many levels.