It’s been a really rough year. Far too many people in my world have passed. In an effort to honor them I decided to get a tattoo, my first. Pain and sorrow in the immediate aftermath of any loss are to be expected. The level of pain seemed to ease for me as the year went by and my world was overwhelmed by loss. Numbness set in as I tried to cope. Where do you go to seek appreciation? For me, I went to the mountains, the only place where everything seems to makes sense. Black and white with shades of gray, shades of decision. Many seek solace alone. Sorting through the details of why the world is the way it is can be much easier without the distractions of others. To leave this false reality that we’ve created and run to the real world of the mountains, to live in the face death, not cheat it but live so purely that you forget the pain for a moments time. Along the way to this moment of clarity the journey is filled with remembrance free of most distractions. This is the true beauty of the solo.
As time passed and the memorials were completed I went into myself and my art. I was never satisfied enough with my paintings to put any of my work on my body. For some reason this had changed. Perhaps for so long my art was about making money. This new phase of painting was about expression of love. Remembrance of friendship with each stroke of the brush filled with moments shared, I never have felt that level of meaning from my art. For so long I only saw the mistakes in my work. With these pieces I don’t see the mistakes and only feel satisfaction with the results. Art became a powerful way of honoring the memory of my fallen friends by striving to make myself better. With this satisfaction came the realization that I should strive not to forget the place that I was. What better permanence than a tattoo?
As I return to balance in my life I’m reminded of those moments I shared with my fallen. With the tattoo still fresh the pain is still there. I must take care of it with washing and lotion. This cleansing is more than just a chore but a metaphor for the direction I need to take myself. I now have a permanent reminder of this. Part of honoring the memory of those that are gone is to never forget to live. Each moment on this Earth should be appreciated, savored and truly lived. Balance in life means a return to my friends that I left. I return with a new perspective and appreciation for our friendships. I return healed. I look at these people differently now. I say the things I feel for I may not have the chance to again. Out of death comes a more complete understanding of life.
Life is eternal in the memories of friendships.
Thank you Doug at Electric Quill in Boulder. You’ve got awesome skills and from the stuff of yours I’ve seen a great vision.