For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to tattoo a tree on my back.
For most of that time, I thought it would be a (California) Valley oak tree. And then I bought Ferdinand the Bull (a story I had loved as a kid) for Remy and the image of Ferdinand under the cork tree at the end was a zing - that was the image (minus the bull) that I had seen, on my back. (Cork trees are a type of oak, it turns out, but the illustrator turned the acorns into corks, which is cute.)
As my fortieth birthday draws closer and I'm starting to surrender to the real possibility of getting my first tattoo, that tree I can see on my back keeps calling me. It's not a first tattoo, but I'm considering it as I think about how the first tattoo fits into the eventual pieces.
Trees are a large part of my memory. I still remember specific trees in places we used to live. (Sometimes I'll forget what buildings look like, but I'll almost always remember trees.)
It's no wonder that trees are probably the number one thing I use in my double exposures (outside of portraits, including self portraits).
And it may be that double exposures are the closest I get to having a tree on my skin. I may decide not to get a tattoo at all, or to only get one, or - well, there's many things that can happen between now and a hypothetical back piece.
In the meantime, I have the ability to transform myself, photographically, and that is a wonderous thing.