By J.J. Colagrande

03_sky-tyler1At the S.A.K.E. festival, with henna in a plastic squeeze bottle applicator, Keith drew outlines of his hand all over my body. In the middle of his outlined hand he pasted an eye. To make sure the designs were perfect, he edited with a toothpick. I was covered in henna hands. All over my body, on my breasts, thighs, legs, back, stomach, maybe fifteen hands, all with big open eyes right in the middle. He explained to me that the hands symbolized the world and how everybody in it wanted to get a piece of me. He said everyone wanted to put their hands on me and take what they could get, but Keith would do his best not to let that happen. The eyes in the middle of the hand were his eyes, his Mayan third eye, so he said, and his Mayan third eye would watch out for me forever. Interesting, huh? At the S.A.K.E. festival, in return, I drew a huge henna tree from his neck down to his knees. The bark ran down his stomach, his arms were the branches and roots ran down his pelvis and groin. I explained that the tree was a symbol of his enlightenment. After two years together he felt firmly rooted in my heart and soul. I never meant to hurt him. Keith and me have been through a lot. I never meant to hurt him. Anyway, the henna at the S.A.K.E. fest was so-o-o awesome. To make Henna the old fashioned way, which is what Keith did, it’s a process. He could’ve bought a henna kit with everything set up but that lacked spirit. And for Buddha’s sake, is anything real if not for spirit. I’ll never forget the S.A.K.E. fest—nothing in my life has ever come close to that celebration.

If you like this, check out Keith tell his version of the same festival