St Francis and the Tattooist


“Author, artist, connoisseur, madman, thug, pirate, villain, Buddha, sage, Satan, gypsy and most solid of brothers” so said Johnny Depp about Jonathan Shaw. For those that don’t know Shaw, he’s a famed New York tattooist and mythic figure in underground circles and is profiled in the excellent Huck magazine. Here are some of his words of wisdom:

“Fear is the insidious mental parasite, which keeps us from the attainment of our highest purpose as beings.”

“Human society, as we know it in today’s world, is largely a construct of an insidious, sophisticated control system, a sort of mean-spirited mental prison, designed to keep sheep in line, living in slavery to ‘the system’ ”

[On advice to his younger self]: “Study the Saint Francis Prayer as a model of successful living”

So what better way to end, then to quote the full prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

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