I [actively] endure. The latin verb of permanence. The root of devotion and survival. It’s a commitment, an honor to oneself, a statement of certainty. Not just an I Will, but a whole spirited, I Am. Permaneō resonates with an anima, any one thing can identify with a self, if it is so given. And what awakens inside of me will ultimately echo with the same persistence on the outside. Consequently, [appropriated from the words of Nelson Mandela] when we let our own energy radiate outside of ourselves into creation, we unconciously give others permission to do the same. Allowing this awakened energy to resound between entities is the key to our longevity and abilities to manifest in our evolution. Art, in it of itself, is a perpetual, tireless, action to impermiate the concious and stimulate the identity and connection with the self, among selves.
As such, this historian inside me has a passion for giving breath to the moments that have made an indelible mark in minds past by giving these feelings an act of permanence on my skin. An art that comes long before today and will survive so many futures. It’s aesthetic saturated in varieties of meanings; ceremonial, mythological and profoundly personal, but their unfailing quality, is that of permanēre, a presence in the active infinitive. The extrinsic nature of a ink inscribed in the depths of skin holds the opportunity for understanding communities, cultures and societies by the make up of the individuals rather than the overarching themes of a the whole. Here we have the energetic survival of lineage, heritage, mythology, environmental observations and knowledge. My skin is alive with my stories, my perceptions. Whether the artist, the creator, the inscriber, is the one who gives vitality to these marks, or if the life of it is instilled from within myself as it takes root in my given canvas, is indeterminable, but does not take away from it’s worth as an enduring dynamic.
I am barely one raindrop off the drenched umbrella in a storm, following in laid footsteps that came thousands of years before me; a different time, a different story to tell, the same need, Permaneō. The act of self realization and self presentation, a mark that will outlast the continuum of lifetimes. This is why I want to tell these stories, why its imperative to save our histories and our art, this act is also of saving craftsmanship and mythology, our imaginations. Our now came from then, and our now is changing more rapidly than it ever has and the contemporary world has less understanding of how to keep permanence alive and why losing it would be humans greatest tragedy and potentially their most chaotic. Understanding is where peace is found. This is what I hope to actively save.
Maud Stevens Wagner
First known female tattoo artist in the United States in 1907. By Getty Images.
Permanence in action, captured.