The Unexamined Life

Some people go through life with no thought as to why or how or what any of this means, they have no thoughts of morals, ethics, or reason. They live an unexamined life, doing whatever they want, whenever they want.

I live in a town with a lot of these people. They surf, they do whatever drugs they can get a hold of and they drink from morning until night. There’s nothing more to their lives.

Sometimes I’m envious. I look at their lives and every now and then, I wish I could feel that empty. I’ve lived that life and enjoyed it, but even there, I’ve never been able to escape the weight of existence and meaning.

There’s no internal voice calling these people to live up to something, no urge to create or contribute. They’re content to eat, shit, fuck, sleep and pass the time. It looks like a simple life. But how does it differ from the life of animals? Does a moment ever come from them when they wake up and realize they’re wasting their one life on Pornhub and hangovers?

It’s much easier to see, here, in this surf town. But they exist in every country, in every town, and in every city. Here though, in the land of the sloths, it’s easy to live this way, they can live on a smaller budget. It’s harder to live like this in Brooklyn or San Francisco, where it costs 7,000 dollars a month to live in a closet.

It’s harder to be active here, it’s too damn hot, and it’s a place people come on vacation. A place to do nothing.

This is hard for me and my hamster wheel brain, which is always searching for some underlying meaning, for a connection to something greater than myself, or for a meaning to life.

When the town empties out for slow season and there aren’t many tattoos to do, I end up in an existential crisis. I need to work on my own projects and to maintain some routine, otherwise, I go rancid.

Sometimes I want to live like a sloth, to have no ambition and no desires, but it’s so fucking boring. I know I don’t really want to live like that, that it looks nice, but it’s a trap. Every now and then though, I’ll get tired and I’ll take a little break. My routine will fall off and I’ll take my eyes off my goals, and get undisciplined and I’ll do whatever I want, whenever I want.

This story always ends the same way, with me being a miserable fuck. So I do the opposite. I’ve got no choice, and when I do, I feel good.

 

 

 

 

for a way to be consistently happy and present. I’m constantly wondering about how I’m doing, compared to what I could be doing. Or I get frustrated about all the things I’m not doing, I sit there and

Searching history for answers, for examples of great minds and their thoughts on this experience of life.

The Rapture

It’s slow season down here in Mal Pais. It rains a lot throughout the days, and most nights there are crazy powerful storms.

Around a month ago, my wife and I were woken up in the middle of the night by a crack of lightning. I swear to God I thought it was the rapture and Jesus was coming back.

First, there was what sounded like a bomb explosion and then a crack of lightning like I’ve never heard in my life.  G and I instantly grabbed onto each other thinking it was the end of the world. The dogs were trying to get under the bed, my heart was racing like crazy, she was crying. It was terrifying.  The storm kept on through the night, eventually, we drifted off to sleep again.

In the morning the storm had passed. The jungle was there outside, with its clicks and chirps. I woke up, walked downstairs with the dogs and made coffee. The dogs pushed each other out of the way in an attempt to get more attention. I thought of the explosive sound and the incredible power of that crack of lightning, it was fascinating.

I remembered a woman I had tattooed who had been struck by lightning, it had exited her body through her feet and calf, three different exit points. She had lost her husband, but I think her son survived. They were all struck.

We live on the land where thunder and lightning play and I’m good with that. I was just glad Jesus didn’t come back becasueI would have been fucked.

ON Losing Virginity

Let me tell you about how I lost my viginity, about that magnificent moment in a young mans life. It was the beginning of a funky life long realtionship to sex that started when I was just a young buck.

So, I’m 19 years old and I was a born again Christian, dating another born again Christian named Christy and not only were we not going to have sex until we were married but we werent even going to kiss until we got married. This of course was all in the name of honoring our Lord and Savior. The heathens around us could do whatever they wanted, but we were living sacrifices to Christ, yes, we wanted to kiss, but no, we would not. We wanted to be in the world but not of it. This is how you end up going down on your girlfirend while never once letting your lips touch her mouth lips, these lips would only touch her other llips, the aftermath was always the same – extreme guilt. If it was so bad why did it feel so good?

No one, that I can remember told us to do it this way, I must have read it in a book somewhere and thought it sounded good. This was around the same time that I was trying not to masturbate becasue my friends dad had told me – “you can profess your faith and tell me how much you believe, but what really matters is when it’s just you, Jesus and Satan sitting in a room together, which one do you choose?” So, hormones raging like a bull, I would constantly choose Satan by rubbing one out and then I would watch Jesus cry in the corner of my room, He was always so dissapointed in me.

I was working at a Mexican restaurant in Milford, Connecticut, which can also be referred to as the fifth ring of hell. Christy’s brother worked in the kitchen and I was waiting tables. One of the girls that worked at the front desk was a stunner. Dark eyes and dark hair. The kind of girl that never even looked at me in high school. I had bleached hair, had a couple of tattoos and wore shoes with hot rod flames on them. I was a 90’s punk rock kid. I didn’t drink or smoke or anything of the sort, but one night after work some of the crew went out and I went out with them, it was good to love the sinners but not the sin afterall.

Afterwards I drove this girl home and she invited me into her house at which point my hands got really sweaty and clammy, I went with her, she lived at home with her parents who were asleep upstairs. It was a nice big house and we sat on the couch downstairs, she turned the television on creeped up closer to me. I could feel the tension and the heat of her body, she kissed the side of my neck and nibbled on my ear and the next thing I knew we were making out. Oh God did I feel horrible! But Oh God I felt so good! I was like Ricky Bobby, I had no idea what to do with my hands, but she guided me around and slid them to the right spots. She whipsered in my ear and said “I want you to fuck me”. People really talked like this!? I felt like I was in one of the porno mvoies I would watch and then feel horrible about. So I did, for a good minute or two and then I came.

Before I even had the chance to start beating the shit out of msyelf, she pushed me off of her and started to cry, she ran into the bathroom and slammed the door. I was in another world, a new one, I had tried so hard to hang onto this precious shiny virginity of mine and I just lost it. I had tried so hard not to kiss my girlfriend only to kiss this girl I ended up having sex with. I zipped up and walked towards the bathroom, I could hear her crying inside. I knocked on the door and she said “Leave me alone! I can’t believe you! Why don’t you just leave the money on the table and get out of my house!” I tried to get her to come out of the bathroom, she didn’t. So I left and as soon as I shit the door, I started crying.

I got in my car and started driving, all I could think of was killing myself and the lies and the deciept that laid ahead of me, my poor sweet girlfiend, what was I going to tell her and now Jesus was super dissapointed in me, crying his eyes out over my lustful decisons. I thought about how I could attach a spike to the steering wheel of my car and drive full speed into a wall, I thought about it a lot on the way home, ending it all. Instead I broke up with Christy shortly thereafter and had sex with the restaurant girl again. I only lasted a minute longer.

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The Search

Tattooed in the center of my chest is an anatomical sacred heart with the word WISDOM written across it. I got this when I was around 21. I was a Christian at the time, I became one in high school. I walked away from that faith not long after I got the tattoo and I haven’t thought about it in years, other than looking at how it’s aged and softened. I also have a tattoo of Jesus whose eyes I later had scratched out and then a friend added bunny ears on top of the crown of thorns.

I was angry at God, with the idea of God… I was really angry with Christianity and all religion. I raged against it, in my early twenties and into my thirties. My mind had been locked down with the rules and the sin. Things were either good or bad and my humanity never felt good enough. For whatever reason, I always felt guilty. The idea that anyone who didn’t believe in Christ would go to hell, was such a bitter pill for me.

It was in Huntington Beach, around twenty years ago where I sat alone on the beach and let go of Christianity. I smoked a joint, and looked at the ocean, looked at the waves rolling in, strong and constant. I thought of how long that had been going on, that energy that has been pumping from the beginning of time.

Instead of thinking I knew how that came to be, and who made it, I thought instead about the wonder of it all. There was an entire world hidden away from sight, hidden under an unfathomable sea, where animals as big as buildings lived long lives. I saw the wonder, the magnitude of it all, and I said goodbye to the certainty of Christianity. It was a beautiful moment in my life.

It was just a couple of months ago now, I was being a gloomy cunt, I’d walk into the tattoo shop and change the whole environment, without saying anything, my tension and my mood could poison the well, I’d bring that home as well.

I had an answer to my question: I had come to where I wanted to live, to my own Shangri-La, and I was fucking miserable. One day I’d be great, the next everything would suck.

I walked down to the beach, and went in the water, I dove under the waves and screamed into the abyss. I came up and looked at the shore, looked at the trees reaching towards the sky, looked at the jungle, living, and breathing. “I don’t know what to do,” I said, ” I don’t know who the fuck I’m asking, but I guess I can’t do this on my own,  I don’t know what to do… Pacha Mama… God… whatever you are, I need some help, I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I don’t want to be like this.”

Now when I see that faded heart tattooed on my chest, through the hair that is slowly turning white, I can see a pretty constant theme in my life: a search for wisdom and understanding.  A search for connection. That’s what it was, while sitting in front of the Pacific ocean 18 years ago, and what it was a couple months ago, when I was diving into it.

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I was being a miserable cunt for a while, I’d walk into the tattoo shop and change the whole environment, without saying anything, my tension and my mood could poison the well. Everyone would be having a great time until the grumpy old man walked in.

I had an answer to my question: I had come to where I wanted to live, in my own Shangri-La, and I was fucking miserable. I walked down to the beach, and went in the water, I dove under the waves and screamed into the abyss. I came up and looked at the shore, looked at the trees reaching towards the sky, looked at jungle, living, and breathing. “I don’t know what to do,” I said, ” I don’t know who the fuck I’m asking, but I guess I can’t do this on my own,  I don’t know what to do… Pacha Mama… God… whatever you are, I need some help, I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I don’t want to be like this.”

No Title

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

-Mary Oliver

I know this to be true for myself. I tattoo for my job and I love it. But I have always had an uprising of creative energy that I have often never given a voice to, a personal expression that isn’t necessarily available through the exercising of a craft.

I’ve had enough choking on the noxious fumes of my unused potential and am making changes to my life and the structure of it, to allow the muses to whisper in my ear and space for me to hear them when they do.

I hope those of you out there that know the feeling of not allowing the energy to flow can open up your pathways so that you will not live a life of regret, but instead live a life of satisfaction in work well done.