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The theme of renewal had a bunch of potential interpretations. I was determined not to use butterflies or flowers, so I looked for an image of something that makes me feel renewed, and ended up with a place where I found renewal.

The view from the Pihea Trail in Kauai.

This photo still tugs at my emotions with the memory of its beauty, but it’s a bittersweet beauty. I loved Kauai, and hiking the Pihea Trail was a special experience.

But I was hypomanic out of my head. I ended up with an awesome tattoo, but wow, was I a little cranked up. In my memory, everything in Kauai is in Technicolor, at every turn more beautiful than any other place, imbued with an extra intensity that I just can’t explain. It was like the euphoric feeling of falling in love all the time. It makes me sad that I can’t experience Hawaii that way again without endangering my stability.

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