“People generally understand how muscle memory works – we use it to play instruments and write in our learned language. But deep within there is spiritual energy to that muscle memory that is embedded in our DNA and when we recreate those acts of physical artistic expression, we bring our ancestors back.”
I stared at the words on my phone, her response to my text about what we might talk about during her interview. I was stunned. Ironically, I had shared a quote from one of my influences Tuhon Tom Kier, recalling a conversation he had with Master Chim. He wrote, “Analogy, symbol and metaphor, myth and story are the ways we speak to each other, across the mist of time, across the chasm of languages. It is the way we express those things plain literal words can not.” And in the words of this artist I had not yet met, I knew immediately there was a consciousness and connection far deeper than the beautiful meaning on her skin.
We invited Ayla Roda to the Filipino Cultural School that my wife is the Principal of, put together and supported by our own friends and family. She had heard about it, and since the theme for our last session was Visayas, she seemed like a natural guest to bring and speak to our kids. She and James were wonderful, entertaining and informative, and even concluded with a live demonstration of traditional Filipino tapping method. After their presentation, they were gracious enough to share their time and thoughts.
Visit Ayla’s Etsy store BathaliaArt or follow her on Instagram @tattoosbyayla