Saturday, 27 August 2011

To know oneself

Sometimes I forget they are here with me. 
I go on with my life as if nothing is new and as if nothing ever changes.
But things do change and this uncertainty is the most fascinating certainty of life.

Sometimes I forget they are here, ink on my skin. It's almost as if they've always been present, since I was born, just hidden below the skin and waiting to come out. The time I got Lacoste I knew tattoos could become a drug, I could see the fascination some people have for them.

With time and patience I came to accept the repulsion some people would bestow on me.
"It will look all wrinkled when you got old!"
"No, really?!? You must be joking!!! Do you reckon I can botox it?"

I learnt how to answer to most of the questions that people ask me about it.
"Did it hurt?"
Answer A: "You know Harry Potter's Crucio? Well, that is nothing compared to this", normally said looking and pointing at the tattoo because it's really though to keep a straight face when saying similar bullshit.
Answer B: "Nah, it's like a feather brushing you, no big deal".

The question I still struggle with, however, is "why did you choose this tattoo?"
I always think hard about getting a tattoo and, when I decide to have it done, there's probably more than a single reason behind it. It would be easy to say that I did get a tattoo for a specific reason, but it's not like that all the time.
Probably only the gecko on my right wrist has one single reason behind it, yet, for some ironic circumstances, it's the only one I'm not comfortable talking about.

When Paul asked me about at my new tattoo, I felt a bit of a moron. In a way, I don't lie when I say I completely forgot about the tattoo and forgot that he never saw it before. For me it's just there as it's always been in a way but for him it was a surprise that he might have thought I didn't consider worthy mention.

The past fourteen months have been interesting, to say at least.
I've had a great time, discovered new friend, lost some on the way. 
I got a new niece to spoil.
I laughed, I smiled and smirked.
I wished I could cry again and finally did.
I drank too much coffee and ate too much, yawned.
I daydreamed and read a lot thanks to insomnia. 

I had to admit to myself yet again that you can't run away from your demons and sooner or later you'll have to stop, wait for them to catch up (they're not very far anyway) and face them. Easier said than done, right? 
And the fact I'm moving to another country might look like I'm on the run again.
Yet, I don't think so. In the past year I just slowly but surely face the fact I'm not very well and, even though the reason for it are inside my brain and heart, I also believe that the world outside and the unforgivingness of this city had an amplifying effect on my problems.

Back in high school, when we studied mythology and epics, I remembered reading about the oracle of Delphi; "what is it really difficult?", I don't remember who asked whom, but I remember the answer: "Know thyself".
That afternoon spent reading came back to my mind some months ago and that sentence start to mix and blend with other ideas. My life progressed and the whole "know thyself" took an overall different shape in my mind and somehow I managed to voice it, draw it over a post-it and, for some odd miracle, I also managed to explain the external appearance of it to Jordan.

Jordan is the guy that took my primitive concept for the tattoo (and if you ever saw me drawing, you know that, compared to me, Neanderthal men were all Leonardo and Michelangelo) and in little more than one hour created this small masterpiece, happily perched on my left forearm:

know thyself

It's true that the most difficult thing for anybody is to know oneself. We're all complex being and sometimes it's much easier pretending something is not happening or denying a feeling.
I like to believe I grew slightly wiser in the past; "wiser" as in admitting I know still very little, accepting that my life is still quite messy and that it will still take me lot of time to come to term with everything I am.
What this months thought me is that, by accepting my problem, I might not solve them straight ahead, but I'll stand a good chance of improving.

I don't know myself completely yet, I wonder if I ever will.
For the time being I will keep trying to be more acquainted with all I am and to be more forgiving with myself first (and other people later on).
It's a long road, but luckily I'm a good walker. And if I ever grow tired or doubtful, I guess one look at myself, at my forearm, will remind me what I need to do.

Know Thyself

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