“Home isn’t a place, it is a feeling.” Cecelia Ahern
For years I had been considering how to best express my national identity through a tattoo. I have wonderful memories from my childhood Growing up in the US. It was a truly middle class experience; with a twist.
Our family moved between Ohio and Missouri as my father left the military after Vietnam and went back to university and became a professor of business. We settled in St. Louis and spent those years involved in sports, school, and travel.
The travel was amazing. Every summer during the university break the parents packed us all up in the car and headed off to explore America. Some years East, some years west. Some of my best memories. Seeing the Atlantic ocean for my first time in Maine, spending days playing in amazing tidal pools, trying fried clams and watching my sister scream when her lobster came to the table. Or when we travelled west and had the most amazing lightning storm in Kansas, all night the sky was lit up.
Colorado was a common part of western trips as my mothers sister and brother all ended up there. The sisters as I like to say because the followed John Denver, my uncle because he was in the Airforce. We saw that state inside and out, many firsts. Mountains of course, white water rafting (not my fav at that age), horseback riding…
Through all our trips and other experiences through life, including going to Ohio University for grad school I collected a lifetime of memories and connections. Some of my work during grad school offered me insight into white poverty, I had seen so much urban, mostly black poverty in St, Louis, the experience in Ohio was an eye opener. Clearly a post on its own one day.
So then I moved to Nova Scotia at the ripe old age of 13. I went from being the only white kids in most of my classes to a school with lest than a dozen visible minorities. A school in a very affluent part of Halifax. The first year was a bit difficult to find my way around on many levels, but what started with this move was a passion for the ocean and the people of Nova Scotia. What is said about these Bluenose folks is all true.
The one thing I will never forget was our first night camping in Nova Scotia. We headed for Cape Breton and came face to face with blackflies. We had never dealt with such….
I’m truly rambling. The point is the tattoo I wanted was to reflect that I am a man of two nations, influenced by a lifetime of experiences through the people and the lands. I decided that I am Canadian , thus the maple leaf, and I have a love for MY America, thus the fill.
Works for me. It also allows me to focus on my next tattoo now, one that will capture the seeker and lifetime of travel around the world.
The tattoo was designed and inked at the Halifax location of Adept Tattoos by