Adaux at fidelis
Updated: May 1, 2021
When I left home at the age of 19 and went to Gdansk to college, I had no idea and didn’t really think that I was starting the first chapter of real adulthood.
Suddenly I was alone, thrown into the new reality of a big city, student life, complete independence. The range of unlimited possibilities had just opened up for me.
I lived on the 10th floor of one of the wavy block of flats in Gdansk. My apartment had a corner balcony and a view of the sea. I was 5 minutes away from the beach, which always comforted me. One of the nice things was that at night I could listen to the sound of the sea. That was my place!
Choosing this apartment was my first independent decision as an adult. Making a tattoo two months later – the second. I moved out of the apartment three years later, and I still have the tattoo today.
I had been thinking of a tattoo for quite a long time. I don’t remember where it came from, actually. In 1997, the tattoo in Poland was associated solely with criminals. There were only three tattoo studios in the country, and you couldn’t really see their clients on the streets. The artistic tattoo didn’t exist, and I dreamed of having one. I wanted to have something of my own that was only important to me. I didn’t have books nor the internet to find inspiration, to understand the concept, so when I went to Piotr Żurowski’s studio in Gdynia, I was intimidated by the number of designs, sketches, and ideas.
I wasn’t ready for a picture tattooed on my body, but I also knew I didn’t want a butterfly on my ankle or a dolphin on my chest. I wanted it to be significant, to convey a message that was recognizable to me. I was fascinated by tribals – graphic patterns, mostly black, expressing everything through a kind of abstraction. I sat down at a small table, and based on what I saw on the walls around me, I created my tattoo – two elements, two different patterns intertwining together (picture below).
It was MINE!
The next few years brought a smile to my face. During the summer, I wore tank tops, and people on the street used to stop me, asking if it was real. They licked it, scratched it, tried to wipe it out, but to no avail! It was and still remains real!
When they asked me what that meant, I always said, “Whatever you want it to mean.”
So it did. Everyone found something different, a part of them in my tattoo.
Over 20 years later, I decided to add something more, but I didn’t want a completely new one. Although I love beautiful tattoos, I didn’t feel the need for another one on my body. I wanted to add a story to the one that I already had. It took me a few weeks to find inspiration. My goal was to design something around what was already there. I picked a wolf.
A wolf is my energy – a loner, an individual, although living in a herd and faithfully respecting the pack’s rules. I always reminded one.
Kipling put it beautifully in “The Jungle Book”:
“Now this is the Law of the Jungle, as old and as true as the sky.
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the Law runneth forward and back.
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
So, my new tattoo is a wolf, whose image intertwined with my entire life – my old yet significant tribal for me.
A wolf represents something more to me: it’s brave, afraid of nothing and no one, but is always faithful to itself. The wolf evokes respect, belongs to old legends, and is associated with the moon and mystery. He is ready to sacrifice its life for the family, but it’s also ready to kill to protect it.
ADAUX AT FIDELIS – BOLD BUT FAITHFUL!
It’s a dead language. Although I’m opposed to standing still, I strongly support the desire and the need for change to push forward. I also believe that specific values must remain unchanged, constant. They are at our core. We won’t survive without them. Like Latin, these values are timeless, immutable, yet always valid. It’s our alphabet of personality and existence. Thanks to them and based on this, we build ourselves and our own lives.
ADAUX AT FIDELIS are my foundations.