The Black Sheep

Earlier this week, I decided to once again ink my skin and booked an appointment for yesterday. As you can see, I went through with it. I’ve been thinking about it for some time and finally felt like it was a necessary statement to make. Over the past twenty years, I’ve had a gradual shift in both my world view as well as my perception of myself. This inking is an epilogue to those years. For me, it’s a bookend to my first tattoo inked when I first arrived in Vancouver in 1999. It marked the search for my tribe, fearless but hidden hidden in the chaos of a continually fragmenting world. A tribe I never found because, unknown to me, it was a tribe that was yet to be.

Its been exactly seven months to the day since I wrote the words, “I’m curious about my new perspective and I’m a little excited about it. Giddy even.”, and for the most part, I have remained excited and giddy. My life seems to attract blessings that I am nothing short of grateful for. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Hallmark TV movie called, “The Holiday Sitter” which was the network’s first-ever holiday romcom with a gay couple in the lead roles. I was also in a scene for a locally filmed, high profile TV show that deals with another social issue that I’m not really at liberty to say anything about but will happy to be a part of the conversation when it finally airs. What excites me most is that I have become part of a bigger voice, a voice that echoes what’s in my heart. “Love is love is love.”

I’ve always wanted to live in a better world. I have always believed that society is macrocosm of the self. That the journey that one takes through self discovery to harmony and bliss is no different than the journey society must go through to find peace. My personal journey over the past twenty years has been, for the most part,  long and quite solitary. I was never bothered by it because I could see the necessity of it. It was wonderful to come across this quote this morning which so clearly defines what my life has been.

“The so-called black sheep of the family are, in fact, hunters born of paths of liberation into the family tree.

The members of a tree who do not conform to the norms or traditions of the family system, those who since childhood have constantly sought to revolutionize beliefs, going against the paths marked by family traditions, those criticized, judged and even rejected, these are usually called to free the tree of repetitive stories that frustrate entire generations.

The black sheep, those who do not adapt, those who cry rebelliously, play a basic role within each family system, they repair, pick up and create new and unfold branches in the family tree.

Thanks to these members, our trees renew their roots. Its rebellion is fertile soil, its madness is water that nourishes, its stubbornness is new air, its passion is fire that re-ignites the light of the heart of the ancestors.

Uncountable repressed desires, unfulfilled dreams, the frustrated talents of our ancestors are manifested in the rebelliousness of these black sheep seeking fulfillment. The genealogical tree, by inertia will want to continue to maintain the castrating and toxic course of its trunk, which makes the task of our sheep a difficult and conflicting work.

However, who would bring new flowers to our tree if it were not for them? Who would create new branches? Without them, the unfulfilled dreams of those who support the tree generations ago would die buried beneath their own roots.

Let no one cause you to doubt, take care of your rarity as the most precious flower of your tree.

You are the dream of all your ancestors.”

– Bert Hellinger

This tattoo, this mark is all that I have to offer. I share it with those who wish to strip away the shattering noise of the world that fragments society to the point of dysfunction. I offer it as a starting point. I offer it as a way for people to say to those around then, “I accept you for who you are and from this common ground we can move forward.” For me, it is a symbol of acceptance.  Unconditional love not only for each other, but for this beautiful planet that is home to us all.

Thanks for reading,
Andy Rukes


An open conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *