This is my 9th tattoo and my first major piece of work. It was based on Denethor’s shield from Lord of The Rings. The image of the birds comes from an Elvish tale about (to make a long story short) an elf wife who transforms into a bird inorder to reunite with her husband at sea during battle. The elvish writing reads “Abide In Truth”, a saying I originally choose because of my tendencies to fib. I got the compass as an homage to Tolkien’s use of maps and to symbolize the journey that takes place in the series.
However, during the 6 month span it took to complete the piece it developed a second meaning to me. A month after I started the piece, my grandfather passed unexpectedly. Exactly a month to the day later, my grandmother passed away in her sleep. This, along with other mini-miracles along the way, served to renew my faith in God. The story behind the birds paralleled that of my grandparents and they became symbols of my grandparent’s unwavering devotion to one another. The saying “Abide In Truth” reminds me to trust in the truth of miracles, and the compass reminds me to let my faith be my guide.
Tattoo done by Dave at Blue Lotus Tattoos in Madison, WI.