Parsee Falls, Dorji Rises.

CAM (Conceptual-Action-Manifestation)

Concept: When I accepted the reality of my homosexuality in the summer of 1992, I decided that I wanted to permanently declare my rejection of any shame associated with my sexuality. A tattoo seemed to be most appropriate. I decided that I should have a double dorji, the vajrayana symbol of pure diamond-like awareness and the adamantine indestructibility of knowledge. By putting a pink triangle in the center I was committing to witnessing the reality of my same gender loving nature for the duration of this incarnation. The power of this knowledge is extended into the phenomenological realm through the symbols of the four elements surrounding the central design. There is a wave pattern for water, a cloud pattern for air, a flame pattern for fire and a floral pattern for earth. The wholeness I was experiencing was from an integration of my masculine and feminine aspects, and I expressed this completeness by balancing the power of the yang right shoulder with the receptivity of my yin left inner thigh. There I decided to have a red peony, or pema. Much of the previous years journey had included contemplation of the myth of Parsifal and the wounding of the left thigh. The acceptance of my homosexuality meant the death of my identity for the previous twenty years, which could be described as "devout Baha'i". The Baha'i religion, revealed in the Arabic and Farsee (in India, Parsee) languages, had been the standard for my life since 1972. My marriage, my Ph. D. dissertation, my years as a pioneer in Bhutan, my social community and family were all centered around this belief system, which completely denied any legitimacy for homosexuality. My acceptance of my nature meant the rejection of my established identity. The guiding concept behind this artistic process was the aesthetic commemoration of death and resurrection on the canvas of my skin.

Action: Two artists, former students of the Heron School of Art of Indiana University, tatooed my shoulder and thigh simultaneously while I meditated on a large abstract painting with an ebbing and flowing audience of current students of the school.

Manifestation: A permanent reification of my transformation on my skin.