Tui and La: The legend behind one of my tattoos
In Taoist philosophy, Yin and Yang are the elements that represent the opposites that converge with each other. They are not isolated from each other, but flow harmoniously, and within each there is a part of the opposite. They are the duality present in all things in the universe: day and night, man and woman, light and darkness. The black part is the Yin (the feminine, the dark, the cold) and the white part is the Yang (the masculine, the luminous, the warm).
Without one, the other can't exist.
In the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, 2005) this concept is represented by the spirits of the moon and ocean, called Tui and La.
We know that the moon and the ocean are connected by the satellite's gravity, and it causes the tide to rise or fall. This is the message that the spirit Koh gives to Aang, the protagonist of the story, when he tells him about Tui and La in the episode "The Siege of the North, Part 2."
Tui and La, your moon and ocean, have always circled each other in an eternal dance. They balance each other. Push and pull. Life and death. Good and evil. Yin and Yang.
These spirits take the physical form of two Koi fish: Tui, the spirit of the moon, is white and has a black spot on its forehead; while La, spirit of the ocean, is a black fish with a white spot on its forehead. Both swim in the "eternal dance" that Koh mentions, never separating and achieving the perfect balance.
In his arrogance, Admiral Zhao, one of the authorities of the Fire Nation, intends to destroy Tui to eliminate the moon and its power over the Water Tribe in order to completely dominate it. Iroh, who has great respect for the spirits, warns him not to destroy the spirit of the moon, for this would have unimaginable consequences: an imbalance in the harmony of the universe. Zhao ignores the warning and kills Tui, breaking the balance and creating cosmic chaos.
La and the Avatar become one to banish the Fire Nation from the Northern Tribe, and to restore balance, Princess Yue, whose life was saved by Tui as a baby, offers her life to become the new spirit of the moon.
This is the tattoo I carry behind my left shoulder, the representation of Yin and Yang in the spirits of the moon and the ocean, Tui and La, who dance perpetually maintaining the balance of the universe. Understanding that the opposites are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary, they are part of the other and are in constant movement and transformation.