Monthly Archives: August 2007

Background on the Tao Tattoo

Part of The Tao Tattoo Series

  1. The Meaning
  2. The Experience
  3. The Background
  4. Tattwo
Thumbnail: Various ways to write Tao
Thumbnail: Cover of Tao of Pooh

Asian char­ac­ter tat­toos have become some­what of a cliché, but not doing some­thing because it’s trendy is as bad as doing it because it’s trendy. I chose to get a tat­too for myself, which is why I it’s on the inside of my wrist, fac­ing me when I see it. Unfortunately, for­eign lan­guage tat­toos are often wrong and hilar­i­ous­ly bad as well, as if a child had drawn them.

Thumbnail: Laozi getting off his ox
Thumbnail: A painting of the character Tao

So I did my research, and found as many draw­ings of the Tao char­ac­ter as pos­si­ble. At one point I went as far as track­ing down peo­ple who had pur­chased a cer­tain paint­ing with Tao in the title, and call­ing them to ask if they would take a pic­ture and send it to me1. I’m a per­fec­tion­ist in my every­day life, so I was going to be sure about some­thing that would last for the rest of my life.

Continue read­ing “Background on the Tao Tattoo”…

  1. I felt ter­ri­ble when one guy said that the paint­ing was with his ex-girl­friend []

Apple Vs. Khakis

The juice of an apple, much like the apple itself, even­tu­al­ly turns brown, and what was an innocu­ous spot of mois­ture on the pants sur­rep­ti­tious­ly becomes a vul­gar­i­ty.

The pants, though per­fect­ly ironed and clean, must be washed again.

Curse you, apple.

Curse you, and your phe­no­lic liq­uids.

The Tao Tattoo Experience

Part of The Tao Tattoo Series

  1. The Meaning
  2. The Experience
  3. The Background
  4. Tattwo

I decid­ed to get my Tao tat­too about a month before I actu­al­ly had it done. Choosing an artist was­n’t hard. Tiana, who’s awe­some bro­ken argyle tat­too reminds me of insou­ciant kites against a sky, had hers done by Jay at New Moon. After see­ing some more of his work, which fea­tures fine­ly detailed lines sim­i­lar to what I had in mind, I decid­ed to go with him as well.

The appoint­ment was short. A quick check to make sure the posi­tion­ing close to the wrist joint was accept­able, and to leave a deposit.

The recep­tion­ist asked me, “What does the kan­ji mean?”.

Kanji?”. I ques­tioned her assump­tion, and she quick­ly cor­rect­ed her­self. “Sorry, is it Chinese or Japanese or Korean…?”. I explained the char­ac­ter, and how it’s writ­ten the same way in Chinese and Japanese, the cal­lig­ra­phy being in a Chinese style.

Continue read­ing “The Tao Tattoo Experience”…

i love you but i don't know you

i felt dis­con­nect­ed all day. dis­tant. dis­joint­ed. anoth­er bee in the hive. i don’t know why.

when i stepped out­side get­ting off work, it was grey, breezy, devoid of sun­shine.

the bass in my ears moved me. dri­ving the beat of my heart. walk­ing my feet.

the sun slow­ly came out, mixed bit­ter­sweet with the clouds.

and then you showed up. black and white across the street.

i kept my head down as you walked by, care­ful not to ruin that per­fect image in my head. it was enough to keep me going. to make me smile when the most i could feel all day was neu­tral.

i love you but i don’t know you.

The Tao Tattoo

Part of The Tao Tattoo Series

  1. The Meaning
  2. The Experience
  3. The Background
  4. Tattwo

Thumbnail: The Tao tattoo

Thumbnail: The Tao tattoo macro 

To remind me to keep my chin up.

To remind me not to sweat the small stuff.

To remind me to live in accor­dance with the nature of things.

To remind me to stay bal­anced.

To remind me to decrease my wants.

To remind me to indulge myself every now and then.

To remind me that every­thing is as it should be.

To remind me to stop com­par­ing myself to oth­ers.

To remind me not to use force against the world, and embrace the way of the uni­verse.

To remind me to fol­low my own nature, and not the trap­pings of life.

To remind me that noth­ing real­ly mat­ters.

To remind me to have no claims to life.

To remind me to be spon­ta­neous, delib­er­ate, watch­ful, rev­er­ent, hum­ble, pure, and accept­ing.

To remind me that heav­en is found on earth.