Sacred Road

Sacred Road Tattoo, artist (tattoos and the sign) Mark Fountain

I’m using Sacred Road Tattoo’s first anniversary as an excuse to recycle this post from August 2010. Congrats to my brother for following his Sacred Road for a whole year now.

If you think of life as a journey, maybe it makes sense to say we all walk a sacred road. If the chance to take that journey is a gift, we sure ought to be humble enough to notice and experience this sacred road beneath our feet.

I’ve been trying to sum up this summer, two months away from work, the chance I was given to walk real slow on that road for a bit. This past week it took me through a tiny town called Soap Lake, where my brother Mark opened his new tattoo shop (and I’m shamelessly stealing the name he gave his shop, Sacred Road Tattoo, as the theme for this post). I did a lot of writing there, and hope to get some of the new pages from The Book up here soon. There’s so much I could say about the beauty of the place, but I’ll let a few photos speak their thousand words for themselves; so much I could say about being friends with my brother, but my heart’s too full; so I think I’ll share the wisdom of Rory, a gentleman who came into Sacred Road my last morning in town to inquire about tattoos.

Soap Lake, Washington

Rory turns forty-seven next month, and his road hasn’t been easy; born into the Taos Pueblo tribe, sent to the northwest for adoption at three months of age, grew up with little knowledge of his heritage; his longest relationship with the bottle, the last thirty-plus years. He’s quitting now, getting sober to save his pancreas and his money for a trip down to Taos to reconnect with his tribe. But more importantly, to continue his journey. Rory told us he has a vision of living until he’s at least ninety, because he’s going to figure out what his life means and what he’s really meant to do at about age seventy-five, and he’ll need plenty of time after that to do it.

Blue Lake, just about fourteen miles up the road from Soap Lake

So it seems safe to say Rory’s walking that Sacred Road, with his eyes open; I’m happy to have had his company for an hour or so.

Morning sun and seagulls on Soap Lake
Columbia River Gorge, on the way to Soap Lake
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