Monday, October 6
Year of the Dragon
I was 15 when I got a tattoo, a freshman in high school. I remember driving into downtown Houston from my northwest suburb, riding in a mint blue classic car with a friend from history class. I don't remember the details of the make and model, only that it had an 8 track and we listened to Led Zeppelin with the windows down.
Funny the details you do remember. I had long blond hair and was wearing my favorite thrift store find - a short vest that had the coolest print of a dragon on the back. The tattoo artist was a big guy -- looked like he knew his way around a motorcycle and the open road. He had piercings, a beer belly, a beard and kind eyes. He too was wearing a vest -- only his was leather.
I had it in my mind that I wanted the Led Zeppelin swan song angel and when I told the tattoo artist this, he gently suggested another design - - a dragon. It was perfect. Simple. Black. An aesthetic combination of lines and dots. I went home later that day with neosporin and a band aid, my dragon freshly inked into my skin.
Fourteen years later, I was living in a little town outside of Tucson, Arizona named Vail. I was having a conversation with my friend Yukon Left, who mentioned that I was born in the
Year of the Dragon . That night I began researching what it meant to be born under this sign. I can remember sitting in my living room and connecting the dots between my tattoo, that favorite vest, a small white bowl I impulsively bought with a black dragon on the front, the pang of disappointment I felt growing up, when I read on mis-printed red place mats of Chinese food buffets that I had missed the Year of the Dragon by a month; and whatever had nudged my friend to tell me I was born under the dragon? Small details, of course. Easily overlooked. I just couldn't help wonder about the seeming coincidence of it all. As I live into a new year, I have come to know that there is more to life than meets the eye. That everything is connected. That serendipity exists. And life is unfolding perfectly and in great rhythm with what is behind the curtain...
Please enjoy my painting, The Year of the Dragon, as a celebration of this.