Etched ink drawn out in scars so colorful and deep they collapse the night around them,
I stare at them, on my arms, on my chest, on my fingers, on my neck,
this collection of reminders I wear to remind me of experiences,
they are my gateway to recall, to the moments that shaped me, that broke and remolded me.
Memories pour across the neurons, a kaleidoscopic whirl of time merging from past to present,
let me bathe inside the warmth of the smiles, the haloed intensity of each saturated moment,
let me wander determinedly into the shadows of loss, the grief, the regrets, the mistakes,
let me step boldly now across the insanity, the passions, the desires, the absences, and the half forgotten faces.
Take me to the sculpting block where all the roads merge to one, where stone is chipped with experience,
where the cracks define the figure and are the map into my soul, the escape route for my heart.
Let me see the tools we used, from tormented days to breathless ecstasy, from fear to love, from madness to peace,
all the fractured chunks on the floor, finally appreciated for the masterful strokes the universe wielded.
Walk me toward this newfound person, chiseled from the inside and the out to become a reality,
able to see and be seen fully without the cloak of mystery that all raw material has.
It took decades, it took patience, it took heartbreak, it took courage, it took honesty, it took determination,
it took error after error, it took forgiveness, it took deliberation, it took choices, it took exhaustion.
It took every painstaking moment, every particle of hope, and every bout of confusion to get to this moment.
Etched ink drawn out in scars, paint that will never be removed on flesh that yearned so desperately for meaning,
reminders of where it all began, and the journey to where I sit today. Grateful for the path,
mindful of what it cost me and those that entered the studio of my life, open to the light the bathes this world,
in love with existence and the chance to shine bright enough that others may find their way out of the dark.