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Strength Longevity and Love

As I continue to get tattooed, I continue to grow and vice versus. It is funny how things seem to meld together as you get older and continue to evolve your way of thinking and the way you decide to live. You lose focus on the day to day and begin to look at things as a lifetime as opposed to a series of individual events. Similarly, my tattoos each resembling something in particular in my life also resemble those events as a whole, my being. If you have kept up with all of my stories, I have continued to re-evaluate my tattoos and in many places try to incorporate one into the other so they look as though they are a single piece. I am in the progress of pulling every single one together with a back piece that spans across the entire backside of my body. This new dragon and phoenix piece will touch all of the existing tattoos and once again pull them into a single piece. However, this story is not about that; it is about my previous armband that has become a shoulder and arm piece. The previous story was entitled armband of love. I received the tattoo right before I got re-married and it symbolized my feelings of love and hopefulness for the future. The additional work done around this piece represents a desire to balance out the overall artwork on my other arm and for the back piece that will eventually pull things together. It also must reflect the evolution of the feelings associated with the tattoo itself. Primarily though, it was for my perpetually increasing love for tattoos and the limitation that particular design created to incorporate more components later on. So I had to think of something that allowed me to do that while still resembling the relationship that originated the tattoo in the first place. So what Tom and I decided to do here was to expand the bamboo and carry the design up onto the shoulder with leaves, all in color with complimenting shadows to bring it to life. Bamboo represents strength, perseverance, and longevity. All words that I would like to say describe the existing relationship that once caused me to lay ink on skin in the first place. A relationship that began with a great passion to start a family and cloud over the past both of us wanted to begin forgetting. We did exactly that and began a family resulting in two very smart, passionate boys that I know will make an impact on the people they encounter throughout life. As many people know though, starting a family sacrifices many things and those sacrifices have changed the relationship this artwork represents. The original design is actually fully intact. I did not want to cover up anything that was there previously, but rather add to the piece. What I believe was added was all of those surrounding complexities that donít always allow you to see things as clearly as maybe you once did. Things donít stand apart as much as they once did. The feelings you have and the perception of those returned do evolve. However, the symbolism of the bamboo is depicted amongst those strong stalks that grow quickly in many changing climates. Even when they are cut, they persevere. They spread, they change as they must to survive. They may not always look the same from year to year, but you know they will be there. You know they will always resemble the strength you depend on them having. And sometimes, when you stand back far enough, you can appreciate their delicate behavior. These strong, towering stalks can also take on such a soft demeanor as they dance ever so slowly to a mild breeze as their long, soft leaves catch what they can of the passing air. So no matter what happens in life, no matter what changes in our relationships that make us say and do things we may come to regret, some things will always persevere. Family is a standalone thing in itself. It is not something that is replaceable. It will always contain love for one another and always be something that you can depend on being there. Throughout the rest of my lifetime, I am looking to take advantage of the passing air and see if I can build upon my experiences so that even if you find yourself standing a bit farther back than you once did you can still enjoy the beauty of the day and share it with family. You never know when the next breeze will come, but patience will allow you to see where the next one will take you.