HE MADE ME DO A GOOD JOB
I made an appointment and, after many hours and several test drawings, we arrived at a drawing that pleased us both. This was in May 1982. I was very concerned that the tattoo might not look like Baba at all, but after the artist understood the nature of my relationship to Him, he made every effort to see that the image produced was really in His image
Finally the day of no return came after all the tattoo would be with me, good or bad, for the rest of my life so, filled with trepidation, I walked into the shop. All the people there quit what they were doing to come and see the fellow trace the trial drawing on my chest (over the heart, of course).
There was much discussion among the bikers, sailor types and employees about Baba and the funny guy in the chair who had come to put His face on his chest. So I launched into a long discourse about what a Master is and the return of the Avatar into our midst. Some found it very strange, but others found the idea intriguing and were very supportive. Nevertheless, I was still quite nervous about the results.
The needle was prepared and as the tattooist approached me, I was praying fervently that this was not a big mistake, that He would be pleased. Suddenly I became aware of the background music, and as I felt the needle inscribe the first line, I heard the radio play "Welcome to My World" (a song Baba enjoyed and made His by pantomiming the words as the song was played). I began to weep, and the tattoo artist ask me if it were really that painful. I assured him that it was not.
He took three times the usual time allotted for a tattoo of that size, to be sure it was just right, and after he finished he told me to take a look in the mirror. As I looked at Baba's beautiful image etched indelibly over my heart, once again "Welcome to My World" began to play, assuring me that the Divine Beloved was not unhappy with the results.
I was told that since a tattoo is like a wound (to insert the dye one must open up the skin), I should expect the tattoo to scab over, remaining covered by that scab from one to two weeks.
I left the bandage on, as instructed, for the first two days, but when I removed it, I found that Baba's face was perfectly healed, though all around the image (where the tape had been) my skin was covered with scabs. When I returned to the shop a few days later for a check-up, all were quite amazed by this fact except one of the assistants who had listened very carefully when I had spoken about Baba. She said, "Of course there is no scab. Baba wouldn't want His face covered with scabs, so He moved them to where the tape was".
Another fellow, who had not been there that day, exclaimed over the beauty of the tattoo and said, "I hope this 'Baba fellow' appreciates all the effort you have gone to to have his face put on your chest; gee, you must love him a lot!" Then the tattoo artist said, "I know he appreciates that tattoo; I felt him here with me the whole time I was doing it. He made me do a good job. Say, I bet that's why you cried when I started it, wasn't it? Because he cares so much?" I said that it was.
OUR CONSTANT COMPANION, pp. 84-85, ed Bal Natu
1983 © Bal Natu