I got my first tattoo in January 2018 and it was designed by the amazing & talented Zeze who is based in Auckland, New Zealand.
It is based off a Chinese fable called 猴子捞月 (the monkeys saving the moon) – if anyone is interested in what the story is about, I’m happy to provide a translated version.
I’ve been trying to write a poem inspired by the fable, but it just wasn’t working, I think it was a tad too restrictive. Instead, I wrote a little something very loosely inspired by Zeze’s artwork alone.
I think that’s one of the best things about art, how it can be re-discovered, re-imagined and re-mixed to produce unexpected results and then interpreted every which way too.
Either way, a life update & a poem, I hope you like it.
I hate the dichotomy that controls me –
spending every day with
the paralysing fear of death and
inability to commit to life
I find myself lost in the woods,
searching for a purpose to my existence.
filled with envy towards those that cling to the highest branches,
holding onto the hope that
perhaps trees grow towards the sky
to be closer to something just outside our line of vision
something better than
humanity’s nihilistic tendencies
meanwhile, I stumble blindly into the clearing
collapsing onto the ground
with a heart that has
no confidence in a soul
scattered thoughts about identity
fills my mind
spilling from my hair
as I open my palms
to the possibility of catching
principles to guide me
they slip through my fingers
(like how they often slip my mind)
and stain the grass
with shades of my hypocrisy
always holding people up to standards built on their actions
yet judging myself merely on my intentions
ephemeral thoughts do not construct reality – only who you want to be –
so I vow to the sun in that moment
to live with more integrity
I stop talking to the birds
and start walking
I wake up besides the enchanted lake.
trying to find some semblance of meaning
in the face that stared back at me,
I realised too much self-reflection
only resulted in less clarity.
vague shapes and lines
ultimately paints no more
than my indulgence in vanity.
your perspective from your limited capacity
is not a path to true discovery.
journey instead on the road less taken.
overturn every rock,
and discover the unexpected.
keep companions that will set fire to fallen leaves
because only when your world is up in flames,
will you realise all that’s vital
burns the heart.
I will never find my way out of the forest,
and I still fear for what lies beyond the trees,
but my bruised and battered body holds substance
in the knowledge that I will keep walking.