Ever since I was little, I've had a recurring dream of a blue whale. Different scenarios, different languages, different stages in life, but always the same blue whale. It happened so often, that my whale has become a trigger for lucid dreaming. The thought process usually goes, "Oh, wait. You're a Whale. Then, this must be a dream." And he simply responds, "I'm a Whaaaaale." Or he'll respond with a bit of nonsense in whatever language he's speaking that day. (Once, he said in Tagalog, "Ang kinis ng kutis ko!" Roughly translated, "How smooth my complexion is!" He was a vain whale that day.)
But that feeling, though: the awe, the sensation of being so small–and yet so big–all at the same time. That feeling that magic is real, and it's staring you in the face every day, whether or not you stop long enough to notice.
After living in this crazy city for 10 years, I stopped noticing. The days and nights just all started to run into each other; everything is a manic rush to get to the next something. Every meeting, every job, every conversation, all scheduled in quick succession–just trying to get to the next obligation. So much of everything, and not enough of nothing.
I needed to slow down and take a moment to be in awe. To be amazed. To feel that sensation of being actually impressed by something. To not turn into a jaded New Yorker, too busy for–well–everything. So, I got my blue whale tattoo as a constant reminder to be in awe. To take a breath and realize, "Wait. This is all just a dream."
Baleine Bleue was the working title, and now, Baleia Blu–with a touch of Portuguese thrown in. Inspired by the largest creature on our little blue planet. Inspired by that feeling of breathtaking wonder. Inspired by the whale that's given me the courage to actively dream, over and over again.