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I have a rule for myself: if I get an idea for a tattoo I want, I have to wait a year before I can get it. If I still want it a year later, then it’s not likely that I’ll regret the tattoo later in life. Well, it’s been more than a year since I got the idea for this tattoo, and 6 years since my last tattoo, so I decided it was time. Plus, I’ve never been tattooed by my tattoo mentor Julio, and I own a freakin’ tattoo shop. Julio had a little free time today, so I chained him to his tattoo chair and put him to work, even though today is his birthday (everyone say “Happy Birthday, Julio!!!!”).

My dad kept a magazine picture, of a little girl from a third world country carrying a jug of water on her head, in his music room to remind him that it could always be worse and that he really had it very good. It was one of the ways he dealt with his own depression. It helped him keep his life in perspective. To me, the picture just depressed me more, because not only did her situation not actually make my brain any more functional, but it frustrated me both that the world would allow her to have to live like that and that I couldn’t do anything about it. Reminding myself that I have an easy life just made me angrier that I still wasn’t able to be happy.

So instead, I’m choosing to just keep reminding myself to look for the good that’s all around me. Thank you Mr. Rogers. I have a stanza from an ee cummings poem printed out and taped onto the lightswitch in my art studio so that I see it coming and going. It’s a reminder that spring is always present in a million little ways if I just look hard enough. The color is there. The poem is called Sweet Spring, and the stanza I keep up is

(such a sky and such a sun

i never knew and neither did you

and everybody never breathed

quite so many kinds of yes)

I’m not spending much time in the art studio these days, because I’m busy learning a new way to make a living as an artist and spending all my time at the tattoo studio. I’m working to shape my life into what I want it to be and grabbing every opportunity that comes my way. I’m making all that color mine. When I can. And when I can’t, maybe my tattoo will remind me that there are just

so many kinds of yes.jpg