Share This

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Meaning of KOI

Humans swim through the 'ocean of suffering' without fear !

Click to enlarge
In the Buddhist Religion, The Koi represents Courage

To this day, I have yet to see anything more unattractive than the older woman who’s path crossed mine one summer afternoon.
It was hot and humid and I was just walking into the grocery store minding my own business, when suddenly a woman walked right next to me as we headed for the shopping carts.
This woman in her late 50’s or early 60’s, she was not unattractive and she was certainly friendly with a nice smile.
She wore nice denim peddle pushers and a pressed, white short sleeve blouse.
Then suddenly, only ten inches away from me, there they were, in my face, I couldn't believe it…..her bare arms !
She had more than several tattoo’s on her arms, and then as she walked in front of me into the store and I glanced at her ankles.
Still, there were more tattoo’s.

I wondered, did she see the same crepe skin, the same faded tattoo’s in the same way I did when she dressed this morning.
In my youth I was wild, ( we all seem to think we were wild ) and I did everything that I had an interest in doing, but I never felt compelled to put something permanent on my body, like ink. And what ever I did, certainly, all these years later, you would never know I was a wild child
by looking at me.

As I watched her when she was walking away, with her body cartoons , the sayings and the once vivid ink on her arms, it felt weird and sad to me. And I began to wonder........
Just then, I heard some guy chuckle and say to his pal;
“Now, I bet she has some wild stories to tell !”.
I wonder if and when she is wearing an evening gown ( she lives in Boca, ofcourse she does ! ),
or her peddle pushers, or her pressed white short sleeved shirt...
if she feels stuck with all that ink ?

In the beginning, when we first went for the grocery carts, and I saw her tattoo’s, it felt like a scene in a movie, and she was ‘the tattooed lady, with a colorful past’ character.

And 'I was the lady who had made mistakes and had regrets,' ( we all do ) . But my character and her body wasn't as colorful or inked up telling my story for me.
And so.....
Humans swim through the 'ocean of suffering' without fear !

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


  1. What a beautiful series!! I always, always learn so much on your posts!!!

  2. What a beautifully told story and how you relate it to the Koi fish. I often wonder about people who have alot of tatoos and why they got them in the first place.

  3. Anonymous19:36

    Yes, my skin will wrinkle and sag. My Koi fish tattoo along with it. The colors will fade, but the meaning it holds for me never will. It is more than skin deep. It is more significant than how I will look in an evening gown. It is more important than what some stranger in the supermarket might think about how I look. It is my story. It is the courage to ink my story onto my skin in a society that defines female beauty by smooth, unblemished skin. By how one looks in an evening gown.

  4. I am very much against tattoos, and I immediately think about the type person wearing it. I have learned that a single tattoo can be a mistake that the person made, but I am not a fan. My reactions are harsh, and I have tried not to form the opinions that I do. I intend to get better about it.
    I had a koi pond (that I dug myself, thank you) and some of the most beautiful koi, one a gold metallic and black. I always enjoyed my time with them, as they are very responsive to feeding and visits. It was a sort of meditation for me, and I miss them very much. I will have another pond soon.
    Great post, Renee.

  5. Well said Renee.
    I don't understand 'inking' oneself. Why not paint a beautiful picture and hang in a prominent place in one's home. There it would more likely be admired than on one's skin. I look at some of the young women in my hair salon and know they truly don't think of what they are doing to themselves, it's art more than telling a story. Again..why not put it on the wall? Years back when I was a color consultant teaching people about what colors are best for their skin type, the prominent point was, 'are your clothes what people see first or is it your face, where expression truly comes from?' If it's clothes (or ink), YOU are being missed. Both of my sons have tattoos 'under their shirts', not my choice, but they have agreed to not have any visible. Another thing young folk don't think about inking their bodies, is they are predicting their future as far as employment because most professions don't allow it. None of us knows our future, why do something that limits our choices in life?
    We can thank first "Miami Ink" then all the shows that followed for creating this obsession. The laser industry is ready (according one in the field I spoke to recently) and will be a huge industry when these folks realize what they have done to themselves.


  6. I hope, for the sake of all those who have done it, that tattoos do not go out of fashion! I am with you on this Renee but in saying that I have a son with a tattoo!!!!!



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her Adventures in Design by Renee Finberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at reneefinberg@gmail.ocm.

Protected Journalist