The Magic of Love

  If you don't believe in magic this may not translate. If you interpret the world as fully explainable we may have a disconnect. If your way is the only way this will make no sense; for this is just one thought, one way which can coincide with an infinite number of other ways of perceiving existence. And in the end, isn't this all we ever really have to go on? The way in which you interpret reality is yours and yours alone, we don't really get to glimpse inside the views and perceptions of others. Of course they can try to tell us how they see the world, how it feels to them, how it smells, tastes, and interacts with them. But we never truly know. Theory and hypothesis are not true understanding or knowledge.

And this is the crux of the matter. We navigate through the world in our own little meat vehicles, seeking out connection and novelty and new experiences (or at least I hope that's what we're all doing out there). That feeling of isolation can be a strange one, surrounded as we are by others but never truly knowing what any of the others see, think, feel, and so on. How does my colour red translate through your eyes? How does love feel in your heart? How does that spine tingling awe of one moment translate to you? Did you miss it? Are we on the same page? These are the questions that we may not actually formulate into words but I think most of us will admit they're there somewhere below the surface from time to time.

So what of love? I think this is where the magic and awe and wonder comes in. This is where the questions can all be silenced. The mind chatter calms and the ease of being overwhelms. For love, when it is, when it truly “is”, is something far more formidable than I've ever fathomed. First off it must be equal, and this is far harder than one might think. A balance of give and take; of radiating love and accepting it at the same time ... it has taken me a very long time to get to the point of emotional maturity in which I can finally accept as much as I give. And suddenly all of the questions are silenced. I can look into the eyes of love and see a perfectly reflected mirror image of all that I'm thinking, feeling, radiating. There is no mind chatter, no distraction, no “what if”. It is pure and simple and the easiest thing I've ever done. Knowing what another is actually thinking, feeling, and experiencing ... this is a huge portion of what we have come to call love. The universe connecting in a small part with itself, recognizing that it is one, that these separate organic bodies are but a slight hindrance, a distraction from the fact that we are all one. The blinders are off and when you are fully engaged in love and existence that rush of connection is by far the best part of being human. Impenetrable, immoveable, and timeless. It is the strongest force, the one that cannot be fully told, not to be broken down to its constituents and explained in dry scientific jargon. This is not how it works. It is magic, it is the un-Englishable. It is the most psychedelic state, fully natural and there for the taking if we only accept and give equally. The secret is hidden in plain site.

We all think this is what we want, through media of all sorts this is what you would believe the aspiration is. But it's also the scariest point one can bring oneself to. The open and raw nature of love takes a strength many will not find. It is a precipice where many are unwilling to tread. For it is the most vulnerable place one can be. To expose one's heart fully and openly takes a bravery and calm resilience that we are not taught about or prepared for. We protect and coddle and close off from the fears and possible hurt that an exposed heart is so very open to. That razors edge of bliss and despair, this is where we must walk the line of love. And when you find it, when you immediately know that you can trust another with your heart, with your life, with all that is you ... this is what it's all about. For you know that you will do the same, and with that perfect reflection and clarity of heart and thought there is such immense safety in that point of complete vulnerability. It's the perfect duality. The balance of all things. It's magic, plain and simple.

I hope we all get to experience this at some point in our lives. For me it's a sense of coming home. I haven't felt “home” since I was a teenager, the calm and ease and knowledge that your family and loved ones are eternal and unquestionable. This is what I've been seeking, this is what I've hoped for. And finally, the chatter has ceased, there are no questions. It's the easiest thing I've ever done. But it took every event, every misstep, and every confusing turn of life to lead to here, to “now”. I am thankful for the entire trip, the path looks very clear and direct when looking back upon it all now. It's not as though I've met someone new and am in a period of bliss in finding that connection and figuring out who they are. It's the overwhelming sense of remembering this person, for I've known her many times before and in this current dance of life I've recognized her once again. The sense of time falters and the linear nature of interpreting events all but falls away. Again, if you don't believe in magic and awe and wonder I've probably lost you somewhere along the way. And if I have, I'm sorry for that. But for me, “lost” is the direct opposite of what I now get the privilege of feeling. For the first time in very long time I know exactly where I am. I am home.

I love you Lauren Fortuna.

Forever grateful for this life.

Sporadic at best ... but grateful nonetheless

My blogging intentions are always good but somehow it's one activity that always gets lost in the mix, shamefully lurking at the back of the line marked priority.  At the ten month mark of opening my own studio I continue to have a surplus of gratitude for all of the individuals who I've spent time with in the new space.  I have amazingly loyal clientele, many of whom I've spent far too many hours alongside to merely deem a "client", I'm met some wonderful friends when all is said and done.  You've all shaped me and my work.  It's a slow moulding and shaping, more like erosion or perhaps the growth of moss in arctic conditions, but it's a constant growth which I'm witnessing when I get the change to pull back and view my life and career.  I thank you all for that.

Also, I'd like to thank Mikel ( for sharing the space with me.  As someone who has approximately a decade more experience in the tattoo world than I do there has definitely been much to learn and observe.  I thank you for the generosity of knowledge, the conversations, and the ease of working alongside another artist.

I tend to put my head down and work.  It's good to once in a while look up and see what's changed, what I need to work on, where my priorities are or may be in the future.  In the past year I put my head down and somehow I went from being booked three months in advance to close to six months in advance.  It's a time of contemplation at the moment.  Again, I'm nothing but grateful for having such a loyal (and patient) clientele.  You're all very impressive.  

As the scheduling continues to mount I begin to toy with the idea of specialization.  I tend to have a passion for a few styles, still a somewhat broad spectrum but a bit more paired down from taking on each and every project.  My heart has always been with Japanese style work. This was my first passion of tattooing far before I myself began to tattoo.  Alongside that I have a strong affinity for American Traditional imagery (or at least that which is inspired by such imagery).  And thirdly, I've come to enjoy mandala and/or geometric type work, especially dot-work as an aesthetic which seems to be gaining steam in the tattoo realm.  

It becomes a thin wire to tread as in no way am I ever wanting to disregard any individual's tattoo ideas or aspirations.  I tend to feel as though I have strengths as well as areas I'd love to work more within to become stronger in said areas.  So, having said all of that, this is where my aim tends to be taking me.  There are a few analogies I like to use.  One being, if you had a chef known for his French cuisine you likely wouldn't ask him to cook Indian for you ... he might do an excellent job but it's not the ideal.  I will continue to take on many/most projects but my aim is a slight bit more direct these days ... Japanese, American Traditional, and Mandala/Geometry ... this is where I'm headed at the moment.  

And finally, thanks to my wonderful partner.  Nikki, you've been alongside me in the years which seem to have shaped me the most.  You've played an immense role in all of this, consciously or unconsciously our partners open so very many doors in life.  As long as the doors keep leading to growth and adventure I'll continue to try to do my part in this journey.  Thanks my love.

I write this and ask the question, "why am I sharing this most anyone willing to take a few minutes to read it?"  Well, the mere fact that it's full of positive sentiment is reason enough to put it out into world.  And a final thank you to any who have made it all the way to this final line.