Here is a photo of me with my turquoise lizard tattoo, taken in 2006. I've had the tattoo since September 2002.
Why a lizard?
Because lizards are special to me. I grew up in the desert of southern Idaho on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, a land of cactus, sagebrush (very pungent after a rain), scrub cedar bushes, and lizards that liked to sunbathe on sheets of shale which were once mud at the bottom of a vast, inland prehistoric lake. (It even had a name, Lake Bonneville, bestowed when it was long-gone.)
Lizards maintain their cool. They are the kind of animals that are sometimes drawn as cartoons wearing shades and holding saxophones in their little claws. They are hard to catch. (I often tried it.) They survive in harsh climates. They often appear to be dreaming, then suddenly dash away from danger or shoot out a tongue to catch a fly for lunch.
In fantasy art, lizards are often dressed up as dragons, but they are appealing enough as they are. To human eyes they don't look like scary predators, but they are not easy prey.
They don't survive well in captivity because they need to catch their own live food. Their motto might be: Live free or die.
I always wanted a pet lizard because they weren't born to be pets. They were born to live in their natural environments, where they adapt to the temperature around them. (They are cold-blooded.) They look like miniature dinosaurs, and they seem to know a few old secrets which would be interesting to learn.
In 1977, I gave birth to a beautiful daughter and gave her a name from our family tree, one that felt as if it belonged to her. One of the nicknames for it is "Lizard."
When I got my tattoo, I was heading into my cronedom, said to be a woman's most powerful phase of life. The dinosaurs died out when they couldn't survive current conditions on earth. Lizards have survived for millennia. I want to grow old like that.