(📸 2/2, see profile) Being in Japan has me hyper-aware -- for the first time, really -- of my tattoos. They represent something completely different in this country. They represent thousands of years of taboo history marking criminals, thugs, and prostitutes. Though I am mildly proud of my artwork and more proud of the accomplishments and lessons they represent, I've been dutifully careful to hide them here. Not out of shame, but out of respect.
Being in a place with an in tact hertitage and tradition, so distinctly and completely Japanese, has me thinking deeply and profoundly about my own ancestors. My own heritage. The Celtic people were ritually tattooed, often to a notorious degree. Perhaps the soul-level tradition has leaked into my fascination with marking my skin with the story -- lessons, creatures, symbols -- of my life. Maybe, just maybe, it's my heritage to do so.