Ep. 48: Indelible Bonds Part I

In this episode I, Micah Riot, talk to you about the profound connections and sense of community forged through the intimate act of tattooing.  I can tell you from my own experiences, the bond created during those hours of shared vulnerability, artistic creation, and mutual trust is as indelible as the tattoos themselves. 

From the excitement of attending a concert with one of my clients, to the relief of leaning on another client who's an OBGYN during my partner's health scare, these relationships extend far beyond the tattoo shop. 

This short episode reminds of the importance of cherishing the connections we form, especially during these challenging times, and reflects the power of human connection. 

Thank you for joining me, and I'll catch up with you next week.

You can connect with me, Micah Riot, as well as see my tattoo art on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/micahriot/

Micah's website is www.micahriot.com 
The podcast is hosted on Buzzsprout but truly lives in the heart of Micah's website at:

Episode Transcript:

Speaker 1: 

Hey y'all, this is Micah Recording from my bedroom, just a quickie before I get on the plane. Tomorrow it's the 31st of October, it's Halloween and this week I don't have a specific theme, so much. I have a few little, separate little stories for you about the power of connection. My last interview, megan asked about creating community. If, for me, working on the people that I work on part of that is creating community, and I said yes and I gave her some examples of that. And this week I have three more examples of how I create community through tattooing the people, that I get to tattoo the people who find me. So tonight I'm gonna go see Doja Cat. I wanted to do this. I found out Doja Cat was coming to the bay. I wanted to go see her show. The one I am already close to was really interested that. I asked and I was talking about it with my client, cherie somebody I've been tattooing for a while, a lovely human that I really enjoy hanging out with and she said I'll go with you. So I was like, okay, so this will be our first hang outside the shop and I'm really excited and this is a cool thing that I get to do. Most people who work one-on-one with clients are not really able to just go do something with their clients. There's a lot of codes of ethics that don't allow for that and I can, and I do, so I'm excited to go see the show with Cherie tonight. Today I spend the afternoon accompanying my partner to an obajigoy in an appointment. The precursor to the story is that a couple of weeks ago, about a week and a half ago, my partner and I went to the ER because she was bleeding out and we spent the afternoon there and we got some information and it wasn't very conclusive. She needed a follow-up and when she tried to make an appointment a follow-up on the reasons we went to the ER, she couldn't get an appointment for like six weeks. She was crying about it all day that she couldn't get an appointment and she was scared because what she was dealing with was unsettling and could be scary, could be not good. So I was like hold on a second and I texted my client, who is an OBGYN, and I said, hey, I need your help and she said what do you need? I'm there and I called her and I told her what was happening and she thankfully Liz's insurance worked for where my client works, but if it hadn't, I would have put on credit card, I don't care but my client was able to get Liz in within the week. It was magic. I was like, oh my god, community, the interdependence of community. I'm working with this person on deep, intense personal tattoo work and he or she is helping me make sure that my partner is okay. And then the third example is tomorrow I'm getting on a plane to go to Colorado where I'm gonna spend a few days with an old client of mine who is in her last, final few months of life. When I found out that she was sick, we hadn't been in touch in a while and I didn't want to get in her face and be like hey, I heard you're dealing with this really intense health condition that you make her tell me, make her catch me up, and all things. I didn't want to be invasive, so I sent her text that I love you, I'm thinking of you, I'm sorry you're going through this. And that was a little bit ago, a couple years ago. And then, more recently, I saw her pop up on social media and I ended up reaching out and saying, hey, I'm thinking of you, and she said I'd love to talk to you, to catch up with you. And so we had a chat, a nice long chat, and she told me what was happening. And she told me that she likely doesn't have very long left. And she asked me if I would come and visit her. And of course I said of course I'll come and visit you. It's not something I would offer because where I didn't think that I was close enough for her to spend her energy on me in the last, final stage of her life. But she asked if I'd come visit and of course it's my deep, deep honor to go and spend a few days with her. So we chatted logistics. I asked her how many days she wanted me for. I made those plans and I'm going. And when we were making those plans I said Wendy, you want me to come? And she said you can come anytime until New Year's. After the New Year I'm not going to be taking any more visitors. And I said okay, I'm there. This is somebody I tattooed a whole bunch of years ago, a couple of shops ago, and we had a really deep connection and I did my best to hold space for her experience. We ended up actually hanging out outside the shop. I went to a birthday party of hers. We went to a dance party together. I've met her kids so, yeah, there was an interaction beyond the shop, but I hadn't seen her in a while now and she had moved to Colorado, which I did not really realize until recently. So this week is all about those connections, the connections that I have because of the work that I do, and I'm made very happy by this aspect of the work. I love my people, I love deep connections we create. I love the interactions that we have. I'm honored to be invited into everybody's space that I get to work on and I'm honored when it takes beyond, beyond the time, beyond the connection we have while I'm doing that work on them, years later, beyond that. So cherish those connections, folks. It's been a couple of rough weeks for all of us, I believe, and I am existential these days. I'm gonna go back to packing and getting ready for my trip and I'll talk to you next week. Thank you so much for tuning in.