June 28, 2017

The Man with the Great Blue Heron Tattoo

GreatBlueHeronTattoo

You’d think it would be awkward, asking a man to come back to my room to strip off his clothes, but really it wasn’t. I’ve known the Man with the Great Blue Heron Tattoo for many years, but we only see each other at conferences, so we were both talking like crazy as we walked across the campus where the Friendly Green Conference was held. He shared with me the story of a dramatic health crisis (now safely in the past), and we were so busy catching up on the goings-on of our spouses and grown children that, before you knew it, we were in my dorm room.

The room was private, but otherwise not an ideal place for a photo shoot: lots of wooden furniture crammed into a small space, with a single window and a bed across the space in front of the window. My friend wanted his tattoo in the photo, but not his face (I assure all who pose for me that the photos will be anonymous), and unfortunately, he’s not a contortionist.

“I think you should pose with a computer,” I said. “You’re so quick to reply to emails, no matter what time of day.” I grabbed my laptop and handed it to him. He leaned over the computer, touched a couple of keys. And then he was so startled that, naked or not, he turned to look at me. “YOUR COMPUTER ISN’T PASSWORD-PROTECTED?”

I held up my camera and looked at my friend standing stark naked in my room. “THAT is what you find startling about this situation?”

“But really, you ought to have a password,” he said, patiently, gently, the way he likely talks to his daughters. He pulled up a photo of a great blue heron so that the picture on the screen would echo his tattoo. Yes, we are THAT clever. Then I told him that my smart phone wasn’t password protected either. It seemed ironic, somehow, for the naked man in my room to tell me that I’m too trusting. He’s probably right.

In the end, we managed to get the great blue heron into the shot. And we did find time later in the conference to sit and talk about how much we love that beautiful, graceful, ageless bird. He shared with me his decision to get a tattoo, to mark a moment in his life or perhaps, I should say, the graceful passage from one moment to the next.

Read more about the history of the naked blogging project and check out the gallery of photos.

12 comments:

a/k/a Nadine said...

I love Great Blue Herons. So I clicked on the picture to try to zoom in on the tattoo for more detail. And then after having done so, I decided perhaps I should have waited until I wasn't on my work computer. Oops. But the tattoo! I was looking at the tattoo!

Sandy said...

Nice to see a man stepping up to have his photo taken!

jo(e) said...

a/k/a Nadine: It really is a lovely tattoo. And I too love Great Blue Herons. I always think of them as flying out of some other era.

Anonymous said...

What long legs! And I mean the man, not the heron. :>

S.T.

Cat Lover said...

Wonderful photo. I love Herons too, such majestic birds.
Thanks for sharing.
Robin

Maine Writer said...

There is so much about this photo -- and the accompanying post -- to love. I particularly appreciate the geometry of the image, the stunning room decorations, and the story of one man with gianormous heart.

Cindy said...

Another great shot! And I love that he was so concerned about the passwords on your computer!

Elephant's Child said...

Love the shot.
And am always happy to see your Blue Herons. A bird we don't have - and that I envy.

Far Side of Fifty said...

He has some long legs! :)

DJan said...

Well done! I couldn't figure out at first where his tattoo is, and then I saw it on his arm. :-)

Heidi said...

I love everything about this photo, from the blue heron images down to the wrinkles in the bed sheets!

robin andrea said...

Wonderful naked photo, and great blue heron, and computer story. All of it...beautiful!