and after all of it,
i'm all done.
i gave my notice at the only real job i've ever had.
the longest consecutive number of days i've spent performing a specific task,
in one location, is presently coming to it's conclusion.
as of august first,
i no longer will be employed at white mountain tattoo.
you read that right.
it's been a literally incredible journey through the highs and lows of my career,
living and loving and hating and working (always working) in the woodsly goodness.
there are innumerable times that i thought for sure it was going to collapse in on itself,
and there were even more times where i steamrolled and rollercoastered and coasted iby,
spanning whole swaths of berserker barbarian battle-beastliness,
and motormouthing my way through day after day of summertime tourists,
ski-bum winter wanderers,
mud-bowl amateur sportsmen,
early august camp counselors,
and out-of-state second-homo's (that's homeowner, abbrev'd)
that's all over.
fourteen years in one tattoo studio?
in tattooer years, that's three lifetimes' worth.
hell, i'm downright lucky.
after all this time;
thousands and thousands of tattoos;
sh!t, the entirety of my thirties, good, bad, and worse, elapsed under that roof.
these dudes took me in when i mistakenly thought i had enough juice in the industry to
retreat to the high hills with no adverse effects-
and tolerated my highfalutin antics when i briefly returned to my former imagined glory
during the few years i traveled to atlanta in search of the magic i'd let out of my grasp.
and that's what i'm choosing to remember.
we always get a choice, neighbors.
and i'm choosing to remember those kindnesses
as the final curtain closes on our time together.
the NEW new hottness is on it's way.
for too damned long, i've been waitin' in the cut,
steady grindin', and stackin';
planning and plotting and plodding along in a rut.
NOT ANYMORE, THOUGH, DUDES!
why am i leaving white mountain tattoo?
because my five year /eight year plan is finalllllllly coming together.
at long last,
i am pleased to proudly announce the creation of my own studio!
as i type, construction continues apace on the new space for spanning time,
and making art,
and zappin' tattbombs,
and telling true stories,
and actively participating in each puzzling piece of the bigger picture.
it's ALL really happening,
and now, it has a name:
like, c'mon, now:
do you know what that is?
that's what it is.
the & symbol,
the stylized 'et' from latin,
the 'and per se and' of the alphabet,
the 27th letter of most classic typefaces,
the symbol for AND,
which is equivalent,
in my lexicon, to MORE.
there is no this OR that,
only this AND that,
because too much is the right amount.
as i prepare for this trip to connecticut today,
to say a final goodbye to my baby sister,
i'm humbled by this opportunity i have ahead of me.
maybe overwhelmed is a better word.
so much newer, bigger, better, ever-bigger BIG action is just beginning
as an ever bigger piece is gone for good.
it's difficult to focus on the future
at a time when the past is present and holding you to account.
i'm far more mindful that the gifts i've been given are not to be taken lightly.
i'm staying gold knowing full well nothing gold can stay.
that's just what i do.
whenever and wherever there's a harder way,
i'll find it
turn it up to eleven,
and make gold from straw.
rules is rules, after all.
i'd hoped for a bigger fancier reveal.
a grand debut.
this feels more fitting.
without the bitter the sweet's never ever as sweet.
and this good news, shared with you, is good for me.
i'm grateful for the times,
i'm fortunate to have been given this hand-forged Folk Life,
and i'm sure as hell not going to squander it-
today is the day.
the last one, the first one, the hardest one;
never quiet, never soft.....