Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
I left Qatar -where the temperatures can reach 122 °F- on July 5th. Rain in this small country is an afterthought, and all drinking water is processed from the desalinization of sea water. There were times when I felt like I was on the set of a Star Wars movie filming a scene on Tatooine, half-expecting to see landspeeders zooming past as I traveled to work.
Other times my drive required using the force to guide my car home.
After a short stay in Wisconsin, I arrived in New Zealand to begin another new adventure in my life. New Zealand proved to be the polar opposite of Doha: 50 °F versus 122 °F. Wet and humid versus dry and dusty. Kodachrome versus monochrome.
The planet Earth amazes me. So many places hold such diversity. I often wonder when I travel, do pieces of the places I stay embed themselves into my essence? Is there a part of me that is dry and dusty? Because I lived in a monochrome environment, do I have access to that filter when the need arises? Have I learned lessons from the desert that have permanently changed the course of my life? Will New Zealand have that same subtle impact on my subconscious way of carrying my life forward?
I think we underestimate how the natural world influences our very soul. Is a well traveled person more in tune with the rythms of the Earth, or does it take a long-term residence in one place to hear any pattern?
Until then, I will shed my thobe and don my rain gear because the beats of New Zealand are orchestrated by the wind, the waves, and the rain.