The mirror is there for polishing. If you get lost in the reflection you will lose the urge and settle for an inevetable "almost". Irezumi is a craft and an artform slowly in progress since practically thousands of years. Though the actual tattooing first began in the Edo period (1600-1868), the twists and turns leading up to that specific moment are of the greatest value. None can exist by itself alone, and human life is what makes Irezumi. Not tradition, not rules, not aestethic values, because tradition evolves and breaks away, rules are broken and the aestethics change rapidly.
Nevertheless, if one is to have even the slightest peak at success, history has to be learned and a foundation must be firmly in place. Merely acting upon ego will result in worthless charades passed off as individuality and genius.
Bend your head, be humble and assume your position along with all those that came before you and all those in line after you. Your time here will be glorious and rapidly forgotten. Impermanence is a fact. Deal with it.
The same goes for photography. I was a genius when I started out with cameras and today I am a fool. This is true for anything creative. The further up the mountainside you come, the further away the peak gets. If you keep polishing the mirror you will one day realize that there is no mountain to climb, and you had arrived before you were even born.
Today my sinuses are swollen and the nose running like Bolt. It's the hayfever season for me.
Better make the best out of it. How?
/Senju (Matti Sedholm)
(photograph (ghost) captured by Matti Sedholm in Gion, Kyoto, Japan september 2009)