I miss this blog. I have got to set aside time to post in it more frequently; 5 months is too long. What I find most important about this space is the fact that I can cathartically get all my thoughts out before me; an open highway on a long-distance road trip. Having followers, comments, and likes on it aren’t so much the point, as is having the platform to express my head. Kinda like a new diary, since my old one is collecting dust on a bookshelf anyway. Of course, it’s always nice to receive attention or opening individuals’ minds more, like creating a legacy in your child. Conversations can broaden our horizons; allowing us to learn more from others and become better individuals for it. Be it me or someone else, online or in person.
So, now that the Holidays and the calendar New Year are over, mostly my thoughts these days are on tattoos, personal goals, finding a new roommate in 3 weeks, and the ever-growing distance that I’m witnessing between myself and my loved ones- lackadaisical though, like watching it happen on TV and not caring where the remote is to pause it or rewind.
But I think that’s because of a few factors: First, I’m a bachelor and childless and thus, I don’t have that daily domestic attention on family every time I come home. Secondly, my nearest direct family member is over 1100 miles away, and so, again, I don’t share frequent visits with them. And thirdly, my schedule can get so hilariously packed, that finding time to communicate with them (especially with differing time zones) can be challenging. As time continues, the emotional distance begins to grow. The gap widens as our lives continue to change without each other and suddenly there’s this uncertainty that I don’t know what to do with other than waiting to see what’s next on that TV.
“And I’m sorry for us
The dinosaurs roamed the earth
The sky turns green
Where I end and you begin”.
-Radiohead, Where I End and You Begin
So, there’s that. But like I said, tattoos are also on my mind. Due to over a year-long hiatus from my full-body tattoo project (and due to my car finally getting paid off), I’ve decided to up my monthly ink sessions to twice a month so as to compensate. My abdomen is (FINALLY) finished and Saturday we begin the ass/hips phase, and then the rib cage from there. I can’t tell you how much I’m excited to be able to begin a new phase finally; the abdomen took too long with my frequent breaks! And on the Solstice, I found out that my artist has replaced his one-and-only employee with this dude that’s got really great energy and demeanor; I have super high hopes for him! And apparently, he’s a spokesman for a tattoo cream, as well as one for a high-quality tattoo ink, goes to tattoo conventions nation-wide and wins frequent awards there, was on a TV reality show about a tattoo shop in Hollywood, and was the lead singer of a decent-budget emo band that toured with Alice Cooper. Yeah. I have high hopes for him.
See, when you get tattooed by someone, you create a bond- no matter how small. You are in a close intimate space with that artist for a chunk of time and sacrificing your blood, pain, money, and your body to a design that they are putting into you to last forever. It also requires trust, vulnerability, and exposure. Ergo, bond! Now, when you get tattooed by someone every month for years, this bond becomes a relationship. You know their wife, you’ve played with their kids and watched them grow, you’ve met their friends and become friends with them yourself, you’ve laughed with them and cried with them and gotten utterly drunk with them. Their world becomes your world and so what changes occur, radical or not, involves you and affects you. (I mean, outside of their ex-employee from years ago that you no longer talk to, but that doesn’t keep him from getting wasted all the time and texting you to see if you’d be interested in boning later that night as if that’s the recipe for flattery.) *ahem*
Yesterday, while at work, I went to ACE Hardware for a work-related errand, and was rung up by a tall, blonde, spiky-haired guy who looked like he’d been in a few too many fights over the years. I looked down, however, and realized he was sporting a huge pentacle tattoo on his forearm, with lots of vibrant foliage around it. Today, I went to the café and while my regular barista handed me my shot-in-the-dark, I noticed on the side of her middle finger was a new tattoo; a tiny triple-moon symbol that has a full moon bookended by opposing crescents. On the other side of the finger, was a double-moon symbol; a full moon connected to only one crescent. Goddess and God.
Used to, I would publicly identify Pagans by the necklaces they’d wear; pentacles and Mjölnirs. And maybe that’s still a thing, but more and more these days it seems that people are tattooing their religious identities, instead. Perhaps I’m biased, but I think that’s awesome! Talk about a beautiful commitment and the ability to make it as unique and personal as you’d like. In many historical cultures, tattooing was sometimes a religious expression. Don’t get me wrong; I love that it has become so much more to people, artistically, across the globe! I just think it’s neat to mimic the customs of our ancestors in this art form. But…history nerd here.
It’s also great to see so many people, in this decade, are not only Pagans but are also proud of it. In the 90’s, it was more popular for Pagans to pop up, no thanks to Hollywood’s obsession with “rebellious witchcraft.” But these days, it seems to be more of a personal choice and less a popular one. Thus, it’s great to see so many sporting it. I, myself, have just one bumper sticker on my Honda Fit that simply reads ‘Pagan’. Yes, I’ve gotten some angry and concerned looks in my rear-view mirror at whatever stop light, but that’s not why I have it. It’s there because being a Pagan for more than half my life has helped me make so many decisions, answered so many questions, and shaped the very identity of who I am today. It’s a passion of mine, and I have to express it. And, like the barista, I too have a double-moon symbol tattooed on me, representing the God within everyone and the wildness of Nature; be it a literal god or a symbolic one.
So, that’s mostly what’s in my head at the moment. I’ll try to write on this blog more often. Oh, and if anyone knows of someone who needs a room in Seattle in the next few weeks, hit me up!
“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” -Sylvia Plath