LKTAOTAS: Love kicks the ass of time and space tattoo

LKTAOTAS: Love kicks the ass of time and space

Leading up to my 40th birthday I was looking for a tattoo that would remind me how precious it all is – life, that is. In the past year, I had healed a 42 year old wound in my family lineage and had also helped a 42 year old friend pass over. “All you need is love” kept ringing through my head. I have an amazing blessed life and was thinking of putting a visual reminder right on my wrist where I could easily look at it. People often advise against about visible tattoos, but that’s another piece of what I wanted to celebrate. Not only have I built a life where tattoos, piercings, and funky hair colors have not impeded me professionally, but society has also come a long way on its acceptance of such things. I am no longer scared to put a tattoo on my wrist, but it had better be something I’m okay with looking at all the time. I wanted it to be something which would remind me what I gleaned out of the first 40 years of my life and what I wanted to carry forward into the rest of my life.

Nothing right was coming to mind and I resigned myself to knowing it would not happen on or during the lead up to the big day. Then a funny thing happened. I was invited to MC a poetry share that I’ve been involved with for years and deeply love. It was a huge honor. This year it happened to fall right on my 40th birthday. I even finally convinced Joss, the woman who conceived of and ran the gathering, to come and read a poem she had mentioned she wanted to bring before. As her partner Steve had taught us all so well, I pressed her to “bring it.”

The poetry was a delight as always. The poets in this community always bring exquisite offerings and it was such a sweet way to usher in 40, surrounded by love, laughter, and poetry. When Joss’ turn came, she read a poem from Hafiz which knocked everyone’s socks off.



I think we need a password, or let’s make that a pass-sentence.

That way, in case you ever come to my door in an emergency and God and I are busy inside,

we could then just shout, Tell us the password! if you really want to snuggle.

And part of the password will be you knowing it is really… a pass-sentence. And here it is in all its glory and truth:

Love kicks the ass of time and space.

Upon hearing that God and I would look at each bewildered, but with delight. We would be glad someone had reached us… with the golden key of their tongue.

Though just to make sure we heard you right we might say in unison, Sing it loudly, baby! Cut loose! We need to double check!

And then if you did, a strength and smile might rise inside of you, and right next to my heart you might be for a moment… beaming like an eye that knows.

Don’t forget now: LKTAOTAS

Maybe even tattoo that somewhere so you will remember.

From “A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations” by Hafiz and Daniel Ladinsky (March 17)


While I don’t do what every poem tells me to do, I was struck by the the way the phrase – Love kicks the ass of time and space – so elegantly and accurately summed up what I had been wanting to convey with this tattoo. Clearly Hafiz, a revered Persian mystic and poet from the 14th-century, didn’t write this line as we are reading it today. What Daniel Lidinsky seems to have done though is to capture the spirit and essence of Hafiz’s work in a way which is both lively, joyful, and accessible. Hafiz is known to employ both irony and humor in his work and Daniel Lidinky’s interpretations reflect that.

I’ve had the tattoo for a couple of months now and I must say I love it more and more each day. Many thanks to Charon Henning, the tattoo artist who both drew the final design and brought it into life on my skin.

LKTAOTAS tattoo: Love kicks the ass of time and space

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4 Responses to LKTAOTAS: Love kicks the ass of time and space

  1. Shannon April 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

    If you could make this into a bumper sticker, we could conquer the world 😀

  2. Daniel October 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Just saw this today …. about you now knowing the “pass-sentence” moreover seeing your TATTOO.
    It brought a couple tears to this old cowboy’s eyes. I would like to send you a signed copy of that book. Here is an address for me I get mail at now and then …. as I have been drifting for a couple years around this remarkable
    landscape — America, and this planet.

    Daniel Ladinsky

    And a BIG, BIG HUG to you!

  3. Jennifer October 29, 2016 at 5:51 pm #


  4. Terri-Lynne DeFino March 30, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    This is a fairly old post. You’re probably not expecting a random (long-winded) commentor at this point, but here I am. I just thought you seemed the sort who would enjoy such a thing–the ripple effect these thoughts and actions of yours has had through that time and space.

    I read your words today because of a text my friend sent me this morning, this poem from Daniel Ladinsky’s book. I was unfamiliar with the poem, and didn’t know the author’s name, so I googled it, and this blog post was second after Amazon, so I clicked.

    This early-morning texting friend has decided to take a huge step out of her comfort zone once a month. One month is was flying lessons. Another it was rock climbing. This coming month, she plans to get the tattoo she’s been wanting for almost as long as I’ve known her. In Daniel’s book, she found what she wants, those same words you have. And that’s what she texted me this morning.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ve been contemplating a tattoo of my own.

    I’m not one who needs to force herself out of her comfort zone. I don’t have one of those, because there are few areas I won’t step into. I have lots of tattoos, and all of them mean something to me. I’ve been contemplating a particular tattoo, probably the most significant (and smallest) I’ll ever ink into my skin. A bear paw my son designed for himself before he died.

    It’s been on my mind for almost three years now. Do I want this? Or will it only serve to flatten me whenever I see it? It’s spring. Spring is when I get tattoo fever. And I’ve thought and thought. Then my friend texted this to me earlier, and everything fell into place.

    I’m getting the tattoo, with the letters LKTAOTAS underneath it. I know they’re not your words, it’s not your poem, but reading your blog post pushed me onto the last step I needed to make the climb. So thanks. And thank you, Mr. Ladinsky, wherever you are.

Whatcha thinking?