Before he headed to his platform, however, he allowed me to take this photo of his tattoo-in-progress on his upper right arm:
He explained that the koi swimming upward on his bicep represented that he was still moving upstream, that is, he was "still overcoming struggles, trials and tribulations". He added that he would get another koi on his left arm, facing downstream, when he had completed his struggle in life.
Before we could talk further, however, he had to run for his train. Fortunately for me (and for you, dear Readers), he e-mailed me shortly thereafter with some more details:
"The leaves are Japanese maples...Everyone gets the traditional lotus flowers, etc. But I chose a leaf that represents no religion or significant meaning to it. I would have gone with the Korean national flower [Hibiscus syriacus] but that, too, had meaning behind it. Many flowers that are traditionally on bodies are either Buddhist or Catholic, etc. Coming from a Christian background, I chose one without any meaning. How can I live with a Buddhist lotus on my arm?
At the time I got the tattoo I was confused with life... Direction, purpose, goals, meaning.. I had obstacles and self goals I had to achieve and was in a standstill (not drug-related or any of that sort). I looked to the pain tattooing offers and how it puts your mind in a zoned-out state, which I now thrive for when I'm stressed. It's therapy to me. I'll update you when I find an artist to finish this tattoo. The windbars were left open to expand."
The tattoo was done by Lee at Infinity Tattoo in Manhattan.
Thanks again yo Danny for sharing his koi with us here at Tattoosday!