Eartha Kuanon’s “is your life”

“I choose this phrase because the word ‘life’ stuck out at me. I, like many others, have gone through many transformations in my life, mainly speaking about the past ten years, with career changes, school, graduations, falling in love, bad break-ups, making hard choices, losing friends, you know, the roads of everyday life. When I saw the words ‘is your life,’ I was struck because they can mean so many things. Are they a question? Do you fill in the blank? Are they a statement? To me they are all of the above. It IS my life. And I will take charge of it.

I decided to take part in the project because I was following it on Facebook and I thought, ‘How neat would it be to be part of this?’ More than two hundred strangers, with a phrase of a poem tattooed on them. I just thought the idea was really cool. Then I learned that the poem was about Boulder and that the author was Anne Waldman. It just kept getting better. I’ve lived in Boulder since I was two years old and have always felt that Boulder is a community of unique individuals. My family originally moved to Boulder in 1980 with the large Buddhist Movement. My parents were students of Chogum Trungpa Rinpoche. My mother worked at and attended Naropa Institute when I was a child. I spent many a day running the hallways of Naropa’s main building on Arapahoe. Actually, my brother and sister went to school there for a year when it was still Lincoln Elementary.

Being part of the Boulder Tattoo Project has meant a lot to me. For me the project is a way to connect the community and bring us together as a whole, in the same way that each individual phrase joins the rest to create the poem. This artwork has connected me closer to my sister, too, as she decided to join the project as well.

I have to say that the best part of the project thus far was actually getting tattooed. I ended up getting tattooed by an ex-boyfriend, with whom I had had a hard time moving forward. It had been years and there was still tension between us, which was horrible because we had been friends since high school. The day I walked into the shop to get tattooed and saw him, I was thrown a little off guard. Then Vinny suggested he tattoo me, but I didn’t want to be rude and say no to my ex, so I went along with it. Turned out it was the perfect way to release the water from the bridge and have it start flowing again. I can now call Reed my friend again and mean it. And for that I am thankful. I’m not sure that would have happened had it not been for this project. So I thank you, Chelsea and Vinny, and everyone else who is a part of the Boulder Tattoo Project.”

Eartha Kuanon

Eartha Kuanon’s “is your life”

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