Change Is Permanent

by Kenneth Rayman on June 15, 2017
After I started to follow Gary and learning to make an impact by doing rather than complaining, like Gary said, I had an idea that would make a lasting impression and serve as a reminder for my new mindset, the freedom I felt, and the continuation of the journey. I had recently given myself a long-standing desire to get a Seattle skyline tattoo and I felt that addicting urge to get another but this was no ordinary urge. I had an idea burning in my mind for it.

My skyline tattoo was done at a studio that I passed day after day for a year on my commute. When I made the decision to get it, no question I wanted to stop and check it out. Sacred Soul’s sign said, “Custom Tattoos” so I knew I’d get a one of a kind piece. After talking to the Shop Manager, Chris, about the realistic detail I wanted, he recommended a couple of portfolios. I was drawn to both on the level of detail but one stood out for the amazing detail of the portrait tattoos, I found their artwork on the walls and thought, “this person is the one I want.”

I showed Axi a picture that I friend of mine took of the Kerry Park skyline with the Space Needle dead center in the photo, like I wanted in the tattoo, but also a picture of the full skyline from the Sound to give her artistic creativity if she wanted to mash them up with the full skyline with the Needle in the middle. We chose to use Kerry Park and I made another request to incorporate the Emerald into it, telling her I say Seattle is the “Emerald of My Heart”. In what seemed like no time at all I was done and was staring at the mirror in awe of her art. When I went back for the fully healed picture for Axi’s portfolio, I decided I would talk her about the burning idea I had.

There was another reason I wanted to talk to her about it. When I checked the shop’s Facebook page and Axi’s personal page linked to it, before the skyline session, I saw she was from Russia, herself. I thought, “What are the odds?” and told her about my Russian interest at the session but tried not to “geek out on the Russian” as I would later tell her.
Axi and Chris greeted me like a friend they hadn’t seen in ages when I walked up. I told them I wanted to stop for Axi to get the healed photo and possibly talk about another idea with Enlightenment. Chris asked if I wanted to do something with a Buddha and I said, “Actually, it’s gonna sound like I’m trying to impress the Russian but I wanted to do something with Catherine the Great,” and we all chuckled.

I loved the look of the sashes and medals in Catherine’s portrait and those of her inner circle, but when I researched, I found it was an icon of religious significance. I had failed to think about the core of Russian society being in religion. Axi said it was my tattoo and I could do what I wanted, I just wasn’t sure about getting a religious tattoo when I wasn’t religious myself, thinking, “If I go to Russia and someone sees it, I won’t know the significance of anything.” Thinking a little harder on the idea I thought “what about a quote?” I found one that seemed to match what my self-development journey was, “Лучше весь век учиться, нежели пребыть незнающим,” (Let him learn all his life, rather than abide ignorance). Knowing that Catherine was very interested in enlightenment, reading philosopy regularly and strived to learn all her life, I knew it was perfect. I found a picture of Catherine’s monogram that I liked and showed it Axi. She said she had an idea and we set an appointment.

I walked in curious to know what she came up with and was speechless at the design. Her talent was amazing and I could see her excitement. After it was done, I was emotional looking in the mirror. It was beautiful, it made my connection to Catherine and Russia even stronger, and it signified the transformation I had made thus far. I walked out ecstatic that my burning desire to showcase my love for Russia was now symbolized and riding high on my development journey being solidified. The quote has served as a reminder daily of my journey. When I tell people about it or show it off, I’m quick to mention the shop, my six friends there, and their amazing talents as well as what the tattoo means to me and my journey.