There's something disturbingly peaceful and melodic about the sweet sound of an electric tattoo machine. The first time I walked in to a tattoo shop, Metamorph in the city, I felt eerily safe. Now that may have been just because I was with my brothers and sister but the idea of getting my first tattoo wasn't as nerve-wracking as I'd always imagined it would be. My first tattoo, the infinity symbol on my inner right wrist, is one of my most favorite things. I'm not sure I've worded that as eloquently as I'd liked but when I look at it, even just in passing or with just a wayward glance, I'm inspired all over again. I love that everytime I look at it the symbol takes new meaning. I was sifting through my Moleskine late last night and found this.I'm assuming I wrote that in there to remind myself that everything is cyclical and that no one feeling, emotion, or moment will last forever. It sounds a little morbid on the surface but when I think about it I feel like it's almost reassuring. I know it's a little blurry but it reads:
"Infinity as a place, ever going, happiness won't last and sadness will end. Unboundedness."
The past few days have been so overwhelming for me and I almost feel like I can't reach the surface. The surface of what you ask? I don't even know myself. I wouldn't say I'm drowning but life has a tendency to pile things stackloads high when you can barely see anything at all. The problem is that I have to finish everything at once, every menial task as well as the life-changing decisions that I crave so badly to ignore. I feel like every other blog post is another rant on "change," but little changes can certainly accomplish drastic results.
A month or so ago I was needing to get inked again but this time wasn't sure what I wanted. Unlike my infinity tattoo which I knew I wanted for the longest time, I couldn't seem to pinpoint where I was now, in this point in my life. And then it actually just came to me, yoga has been a mainstay in my daily routine and I wanted to get something that represented how yoga makes me feel, how it's changed my way of thinking, my way of living and especially loving.
Last week my yoga instructor was explaining the concept of desire. She said that in every desire of ours is a little piece of ourselves. Ideally, she was explaining that the things/people/life we desire are all outward reflections of what we want for ourselves. When she said this I realized that the things we desire aren't necessarily the best means in which to attain our ideal life, that those desires can in fact work against you, taking a little part yourself with it. So what happens if there's nothing left?
Perhaps overly contemplative, I got to thinking. This morning in yoga my instructor asked us each to imagine our lives as a movie, our movie. She asked us what we've accomplished, how we've grown and whether or not we could keep watching the movie the way it was now. My immediate response was no. Sure I've accomplished some things, I graduated college, I'll be published in a few months, I've greatly improved my health...but as happy and humble as all of that makes me, there's still so much missing.
When I walked into the tattoo shop by myself this morning I was determined. Be it a visual and physical reminder of myself wanting more in my life, I find that it inspires me to change the things that I do have control over and that everything happens for a reason. When the needle was on my skin I felt calm, relaxed and even smiling. Getting tattooed is like the perfect amount of pain, not painful per se but absolutely a little pleasurable. I think breathing (as with yoga) had a lot to do with the sense of serenity and concentration that floated over me. It's the only function that our bodies can accomplish both involuntarily and voluntarily, our breath is an amazing tool for calming the heart, simple and incredibly effective.
First let me say that the Lotus pose in yoga takes a remarkable amount of practice, concentration, meditation and patience. What looks like a simple cross-legged position is actually one of the most difficult poses to get into and hold. But once you stretch, bend and breathe into it, you truly feel centered and at ease. The symbol of the lotus flower varies but mainly revolves around one main idea, that being that the flower (deeply rooted in the mud) arises and blooms untouched and stands tall, unwavering. Obviously you can imagine what I'm trying to get at here, in life no matter how complicated things get, no matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how badly you've been hurt, you will rise above and reach another level of purity if you just believe that you can and promise to dedicate yourself to...well, yourself.